Amnesty International reported that the number of executions has decreased by about a third in 2018, reaching its lowest levels in more than ten years.
Secretary-General Kumi Naidoo said: “The dramatic global fall in executions proves that even the most unlikely countries are starting to change their ways and realise the death penalty is not the answer.”
“This is a hopeful indication that it’s only a matter of time before this cruel punishment is consigned to history, where it belongs,” he added.
According to the rights watchdog, the number of persons executed around the world has decreased by 13 per cent to reach 690 in 2018 compared with 993 executions reported in 2017.
The report explained that the number of persons executed in Iran almost halved after Tehran amended its anti-narcotics laws.
China topped the list of countries with the highest number of executions. It is thought to have executed thousands of people. It is followed by Iran with at least 253 executions, Saudi Arabia with 149 executions, Vietnam with 85 and Iraq with at least 52.
According to the report, the number of executions has declined in some countries, while other countries, including the United States, Japan, Singapore, South Sudan and Belarus, have seen an increase.