Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Egypt, Nigeria led world in death sentences in 2014

01 April 2015, 06:34

United Nations — Egypt and Nigeria accounted for well over 1 000 of the death sentences announced last year, more than a third of the world's total, Amnesty International says in its latest annual report on the death penalty.

The London-based human rights group expressed alarm at the 28 percent jump in death sentences: 2 466 people in 55 countries were condemned to death in 2014. At least 607 people were executed in 22 countries last year.

Neither of those numbers is complete, as North Korea's closed-off stance means that no estimate there was available. Amnesty International also doesn't report numbers for China, where such information is considered a state secret. The Dui Hua Foundation, a U.S.-based prison research group, has estimated 2,400 executions happened in China for 2014.

Amnesty International also said it was unable to confirm whether judicial executions took place last year in Syria, where civil war has raged for four years.

The countries with the most recorded executions last year were Iran with at least 289, Saudi Arabia with at least 90, Iraq with at least 61 and the United States with at least 35, the rights group said. In Iran, hundreds more executions were "not officially acknowledged" and the total could be as high as 743, the organization said.

Once again, the United States was the only country in the Americas to execute people in 2014, the report said. Texas and Missouri each carried out 10 executions. Other U.S. states that put people to death were Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Oklahoma.

The overall number of global executions last year dropped almost 22 percent from 2013.

"The numbers speak for themselves: The death penalty is becoming a thing of the past, Amnesty International' secretary-general, Salil Shetty, said.

Also Read:Nigeria pleads for mercy for nationals on death row in Indonesia

But Shetty condemned the use of death sentences as a way to fight crime or "terrorism."

Nigeria announced 659 death sentences, mostly for murder and armed robbery, but a military court in December sentenced to death 54 soldiers who had been accused of refusing to join operations against the extremist group Boko Haram. The soldiers testified that they had not been properly equipped to go after Boko Haram, which has since pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Nigeria's higher number of death sentences, up from 141 the year before, was also a result of more complete data offered by authorities.

Egypt announced at least 509 death sentences last year, many of them in the mass trials that have been held since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013. The practice has brought international criticism. In one case in December, 188 people were sentenced to death in the killing of 11 police officers.

In the United States, at least 72 death sentences were announced last year.

Amnesty International also expressed concern about countries that resumed the practice of executions, including Pakistan, which reinstated the death penalty in December after a Pakistani Taliban attack on a school killed 150 people, most of them children.

"An alarming number of countries that used the death penalty in 2014 did so in response to real or perceived threats to state security and public safety posed by terrorism, crime or internal stability," the new report said.

Other countries resuming executions in 2014 were Jordan, Singapore, Egypt, Belarus, the United Arab Emirates and Equatorial Guinea, the report said. Indonesia said it would resume executions for drug-related crimes, straining ties in particular with Australia and Brazil, which both have citizens on death row there.

At of the end of last year, more than 19,000 people around the world were estimated to be living under death sentences.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...