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300% rise in executions in Egypt

MENA region accounts for 88% of executions worldwide in 2020

There has been a 300 per cent rise in executions in Egypt, which has become the third most frequent executioner in the world, according to a new report on the death penalty published by Amnesty International today.

The rights watchdog recorded 483 executions in 18 countries during 2020, down by 26 per cent from 2019, the lowest figure recorded in the past decade.

At the end of 2020, at least 28,567 people were under the death sentence and faced beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection, or shooting.

In Egypt, there were 57 executions in October and November 2020 alone, at the time Amnesty slammed the figures as a "horrifying execution spree."

It was double the amount of executions that took place in Egypt in the whole of 2019.

In October 2020 alone 15 political prisoners were hanged. Use of the death penalty has soared under coup leader turned President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

READ: Egypt executes 16 persons sentenced to death in one week

Prisoners in Egypt are often tried in mass trials and tortured to obtain confessions which are then used as evidence. There are roughly 60,000 political prisoners.

Four of the top five executioners are countries in the Middle East.

Iran, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia account for 88 per cent of the reported 483 executions worldwide recorded in 2020, according to the report.

China is the number one executioner in the world however data on the death penalty there is classified as a state secret.

There was an 85 per cent drop in executions in Saudi Arabia and 50 per cent fall in Iraq.

Iran carried out at least 246 executions and came second place behind China. Three of the people executed in Iran were under 18 when they allegedly committed the crime.

Oman and Qatar carried out their first known executions for years, according to the Amnesty report.

Nearly 2,000 arrested since September's protests in Egypt - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Nearly 2,000 arrested since September's protests in Egypt – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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