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Monday, 11 June, 2001, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Death penalty worldwide
Terre Haute execution chamber
McVeigh died by lethal injection
The execution of Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh has highlighted the use of the death penalty around the world.

It is used in 87 countries - though the number of countries that actually executes prisoners in any one year is much less.

Executions in 2000
China: 1,000
Saudi Arabia: 123
United States: 85
Iran: 75
Source: Amnesty International
According to Amnesty International,1,457 prisoners in 27 countries were executed last year, and a further 3,058 people in 65 countries were sentenced to death.

China, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Iran are the chief countries using the death penalty.

Together they account for at least 88% of all known executions.

The death penalty is an abomination

Neil Durkun, Amnesty International UK
However, figures for China and Saudi Arabia are thought to be even higher.

The US and Japan are the only major industrial countries to enforce the death penalty, and a recent report from Amnesty said the US had abdicated its role as a leader in human rights because of that.

"The death penalty is an abomination," said Neil Durkun, Amnesty International UK. "To have the death penalty is a contravention of the basic right to live.

"It brutalises society. It's outdated, immoral and wrong."


Capital punishment is legal in 38 of the 50 US states. The last state to bring back the death penalty was New York in 1995. Illinois placed a moratorium on executions last year, and six other states are actively thinking about it.

Since 1973, more than 90 prisoners in the US have been released from Death Row after their innocence was proven. Many had spent several years awaiting execution.

In 2000, executions are known to have been carried out in the following countries:

Afghanistan, Bahamas, Belarus, Burundi, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Taiwan, Thailand, US, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen.

In addition, death sentences were imposed in:

Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Burma, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Rwanda, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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See also:

04 Jun 01 | Americas
Prosecutors oppose McVeigh delay
31 May 01 | Americas
McVeigh's on-off date with death
16 May 01 | Americas
FBI admits McVeigh blunder
12 Apr 01 | Americas
Live from death row
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