Iran carried out death sentences on at least 360 people in 2011, up by more than 40 percent on the year before, according to a report published Tuesday by Amnesty International.
The report noted increases in other Mideast countries including Saudi Arabia, where at least 82 people were executed in 2011, for crimes including “sorcery,” an Amnesty statement said. That figure was up from at least 27 in 2010.
Iran’s total, which was up from at least 252 people in 2010, included at least three juvenile offenders “in violation of international law,” Amnesty said. There were another four unconfirmed executions of juveniles in Iran, it added.
The group said it had received “credible reports” that there were a large number of unacknowledged executions in Iran, which would “almost double the number of ‘official’ ones there.”
Among those executed in Iran were people convicted of offenses such as adultery and sodomy.
Thousands thought killed in China
Amnesty said that in total 20 countries carried out at least 676 executions in 2011, compared to 23 countries and 527 judicial killings the year before.
But it said the figures did not include “thousands of prisoners thought to have been executed in China.”
The statement said most countries “either hanged or shot their condemned prisoners, but there were also beheadings in Saudi Arabia and lethal injections in China, Taiwan and the USA.”
The group said 68 people were executed in Iraq, 43 in the United States, at least 41 in Yemen, 30 in North Korea, and 10 in Somalia.
Overall, at least 18,750 people were under sentence of death worldwide at the end of 2011, the statement added.