According to data from Amnesty International, 21 nations executed prisoners under their death penalty laws during 2012. In 2011, the same number of nations carried out the death penalty but it is a marked change from 10 years ago when 28 countries carried out prisoner executions.
London-based Amnesty International follows executions. The human rights organization said the amount of executions in Iran last year and in other parts of the Middle East reached an alarming rate.
Amnesty said that 75% of all the confirmed executions that were carried out took place in just three countries Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. The most were carried out in the countries of Iran and Iraq. Amnesty said it sees hundred of different executions each year, but these are only the ones they are aware of.
The human rights organization said that 70% of Iran’s executions are for drug charges. The new report released by Amnesty shows that 682 executions took place worldwide in 2012, which was two more than took place in 2011. Methods of execution included hanging, beheading, firing squads and lethal injection.
The organization said that besides Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, the United States and China had the most executions. The U.S. is the only country located in the Americas that carries out executions. In the U.S. last year, there were 43 executions, which was the same number in that country in 2011.
China’s figures for executions remain a state secret, but Amnesty believes that thousands of people are executed in the country each year. Three countries in Asia – India, Japan and Pakistan – resumed executions last year.