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U.S. Near Top Of List Of Countries That Carried Out The Most Death Penalties Last Year

The countries that carried out the most death penalties in 2013: the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and China, according to a report by Amnesty International.

Posted on March 27, 2014, at 4:50 p.m. ET

Amnesty International

In an annual report released Thursday, Amnesty International found a 15% increase in the number of death penalty sentences carried out in 2013 from the year before.

It found that at least 778 people were reported executed in 21 countries — not including China, because China does not disclose such figures.

The report found an increase in executions in Iran and Iraq, who along with Saudi Arabia accounted for almost 80% of all reported death penalty sentences. Some of the report's findings are based on limited information: numbers for Egypt, Syria, and Oman were unavailable, while Amnesty estimated that for countries like China and North Korea, where transparent facts are near-impossible to access, the findings are likely significantly higher.

The report found that in some countries the death penalty was applied for a range of non-lethal crimes, including drug-related offense and robbery, as well as acts like "adultery" and "bribery."

In 2013, Indonesia, Kuwait, Nigeria and Vietnam resumed their use of capital punishment. By the year's end, 98 countries worldwide had also officially abolished the death penalty (up from 85 in 2004.)

Here's a look at the 22 countries still executing in the name of justice.

Botswana: 1 known execution

India: 1 known execution

AP Photo/Gautam Singh, File

Afghanistan: 2 known executions

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Bangladesh: 2 known executions

Samsul Said / Reuters

Malaysia: At least 2 known executions

Amnesty International estimates that the number is higher.
Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters

Amnesty International estimates that the number is higher.

Palestinian Territories: At least 3 known executions

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP / Getty Images

Nigeria: 4 known executions

Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters

South Sudan: 4 known executions

Indonesia: 5 known executions

Sigit Pamungkas / Reuters

Kuwait: 5 known executions

YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP / Getty Images

Taiwan: 6 known executions

SAM YEH/AFP / Getty Images

Vietnam: At least 7 known executions

Handout / Reuters

Japan: 8 known executions

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP / Getty Images

Yemen: 13 known executions

Mohamed Al-Sayaghi / Reuters

Sudan: At least 21 known executions

AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA

Somalia: 34 known executions

Feisal Omar / Reuters

U.S.: 39 known executions

Richard Carson / Reuters

Saudi Arabia: 79 known executions

AFP

Iraq: 169 known executions

Mohammed Ameen / Reuters

Iran: At least 369 known executions

Cris Toala Olivares / Reuters

China: Exact number of executions unknown

Amnesty International estimates that thousands were executed in China in 2013 — but China keeps the exact number silent. The report did not include China when calculating the total number of executions in 2013.
Mike Clarke/AFP

Amnesty International estimates that thousands were executed in China in 2013 — but China keeps the exact number silent. The report did not include China when calculating the total number of executions in 2013.

North Korea: Exact number of executions unknown

Amnesty can confirm that there were death sentences issued and executions carried out in North Korea, but they cannot verify the exact number; however, the number is expected to be high.
Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

Amnesty can confirm that there were death sentences issued and executions carried out in North Korea, but they cannot verify the exact number; however, the number is expected to be high.

Amnesty International

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