Africa leads progress against the death penalty in the world

House bill to abolish death penalty dies in committee

House bill to abolish death penalty dies in committee

In March, Zimbabwe commuted the death sentences of prisoners who have been on death row for more than 10 years, signaling a positive step forward.

Salil Shetty said, "The progress in sub-Saharan Africa reinforced its position as a beacon of hope for abolition. Let us look at the case of Offa, will we say death penalty is not an option if the offenders were captured?" "However, steps taken by Iran and Malaysia to amend their anti-drugs laws go a long way towards showing that cracks are appearing, even in the minority of countries that still execute people", said Shetty.

In addition to Guinea, Mongolia also abolished death penalty in 2017 and Guatemala did same but in a manner restricted to common crimes.

China aside, executions worldwide dropped from 1,032 in 2016 to 993 a year ago - a decline of four per cent.

In terms of total executions carried out, the USA dropped from seventh place overall in the world to eighth place between 2016 and 2017.

Amnesty International Indonesia has called on the Indonesian government to impose moratorium on execution in 2018, as a start toward abolishing the death penalty.

"Nigeria imposed the highest number of death sentences in the sub-Saharan Africa region in 2017", she said, with 621 people sentenced to death. Although that number is still high, it is 4 percent less than in 2016, when the human rights organization registered 100 more.

Thousands of people were sentenced to death in the country, although exact figures remain unknown because such killings are kept a state secret, the report said.

Landry, former leader of the State Police, said what has become an annual effort to abolish the death penalty is his most important legislation "because it literally decides life and death".

In Nigeria, the death penalty is imposed for a vast array of crimes, including armed robbery, murder and treason.

In the America's, only the U.S. carried out the death penalty, executing 23 people a year ago.

Although it is still present in 23 countries, capital punishment is receding in world.

At least 264 executions were carried out for drug-related offences (27% of all recorded executions in 2017). "It feels as if things are not improving and we see a sort of cruelty in which the death penalty is being used with the government going back on some of its own practices".

And while death penalties in the Asia-Pacific region have continued in the years since, opposition voices from Australia have reduced from a shout to a whisper. Together, the three countries executed more than 830 people.

There was a small reduction in the use of the death penalty in this region in 2017.

He added that Bahrain had handed down 15 death sentences in 2017 alone, which was "the highest number in a single year since the modern courts were established in Bahrain in 1923". The country carried out at least two executions in 2017, and at least four new death sentences were imposed.

The report shows that most executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan.

Middle Eastern countries Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia remained the top three countries in implementing punishments through executions.

The last time India had carried out an execution was in 2015 when Yakub Memon was hanged after being found guilty in the 1993 Mumbai terrorist bombings that killed 257 people.

"That is absolutely prohibited under worldwide law", Dr Maguire said.

The countries known to have executed people for drug-related crimes are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Iranian authorities have been known to broadcast so-called "confessions" before the trial is heard.

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