Dharamshala — “China wants to be a leader on the world stage, but when it comes to the death penalty it is leading in the worst possible way - executing more people annually than any other country in the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International in their recent report that called China the ‘world’s biggest executioner.’
Amnesty International in its latest report published on Tuesday called '2016 Global Review of the Death Penalty,' demanded the Communist party-ruled country to come clean regarding their ‘grotesque’ level of capital punishment. The report revealed an in-depth investigation that shows that “Chinese authorities enforce an elaborate secrecy system to obscure the shocking scale of executions in the country, despite repeated claims it is making progress towards judicial transparency.”
In the report, the organization recorded 1,032 people executed around the world excluding China. Amnesty believes that China has executed more than the rest of the world combined.
“China wants to be a leader on the world stage, but when it comes to the death penalty it is leading in the worst possible way - executing more people annually than any other country in the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
He also added, “The Chinese government has recognized it is a laggard in terms of openness and judicial transparency, but it persists in actively concealing the true scale of executions. It is high time for China to lift the veil on this deadly secret and finally come clean about its death penalty system.”
Amnesty International found public news reports of at least 931 individuals executed between 2014 and 2016 (only a fraction of the total executions), but only 85 of them are in the state database.
The watchdog found that Beijing in order to cover up the actual number has resorted to deliberately misplacing hundreds of documented death penalty cases from the national online court database.
Classifying most of the information regarding the death penalty as ‘state secret’ under their secrecy law China only shows a fraction of the actual number, the organization says. It also reported that Chinese government continues to maintain ‘almost total secrecy over the number of people sentenced to death and executed.’
The database also omits foreign nationals given death sentences for drug-related crimes -despite media reports of at least 11 executions of foreign nationals. Numerous cases related to “terrorism” and drug-related offenses are also absent.
“The Chinese government uses partial disclosures and unverifiable assertions to claim progress in reducing the number of executions, yet at the same time maintains near absolute secrecy. This is deliberately misleading.” said Salil.