Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
09.12.2000 | S. Poberezhets, Vinnitsa

Capital punishment in the world in 1999


According to the data of Amnesty International, 1813 executions occurred in the world during the last year, which is about 19% less than in 1998. It is promising that although the capital punishment is preserved in the criminal laws of 103 countries, in practice only 31 countries applied this punishment. The above-mentioned figures are not quite reliable since such data are kept secret by the countries in order to dodge international sanctions.

Last year about 4000 criminals from 63 countries got the death verdicts. As to actual executions during 1999, 60% of them were applied in China.

25% more of the last year executions were contributed by Congo, Iran, The Saudi Arabia, and the United States of America. For example, in the USA 98 people were executed last year. The similar numbers for Congo and Iran are 100 and 165. The criminals, who were condemned to death before their reaching 18 years of age, were executed only in two countries: the USA and Iran. Last year two countries rejected the de facto prohibition of the death penalty which they recently had: the first executions after five years of the moratorium were held in Trinidad-and-Tobago, in Uganda some executions were held after three years of the moratorium.

Yet, the general balance is positive — four states refused to apply the capital punishment for all kinds of crimes: Eastern Timor, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and the Bermuda Islands. Latvia cancelled the death penalty for any crimes committed in peaceful time. In June 1999 in the Russian Federation President Eltsin mercied about seven hundred of the convicted to death. Other seven countries joined during 1999 the Second Optional Protocol to the International Pact on civil and political rights; this Protocol prohibits completely the application of the death penalty.

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