Death Sentences and Executions in 2007

Published by Amnesty International, AI Index: ACT 50/001/2008, 15 April 2008, 9 pages.

Introduction:

During 2007, at least 1252 people were executed in 24 countries. At least 3347 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries. These were only minimum figures; the true figures were certainly higher.

Many countries carry out executions in secret and refuse to divulge any information on the use of the death penalty. Such countries include China, Singapore, Malaysia and Mongolia. The United Nations has repeatedly called for the death penalty only to be used in an open and transparent manner.

In resolution 1989/64, adopted on 24 May 1989, the UN Economic and Social Council urged UN member states “to publish, for each category of offence for which the death penalty is authorized, and if possible on an annual basis, information about the use of the death penalty, including the number of persons sentenced to death, the number of executions actually carried out, the number of persons under sentence of death, the number of death sentences reversed or commuted on appeal and the number of instances in which clemency has been granted, and to include information on the extent to which the safeguards referred to above are incorporated in national law”.

In resolution 2005/59, adopted on 20 April 2005, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon all states that still maintain the death penalty “to make available to the public information with regard to the imposition of the death penalty and to any scheduled execution”.

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions has stated: “Transparency is essential wherever the death penalty is applied. Secrecy as to those executed violates human rights standards. Full and accurate reporting of all executions should be published, and a consolidated version prepared on at least an annual basis” … (full long text).

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