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April 23, 2021

‘Despite COVID-19, some countries pursue death sentences and executions’

Top Story

 
April 23, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic were not enough to deter 18 countries from carrying out executions in 2020, Amnesty International said says.

While there was an overall trend of decline, some countries pursued or even increased the number of executions carried out, indicating a chilling disregard for human life at a time when the world’s attention focused on protecting people from a deadly virus.

2020 executioners included Egypt, which tripled its yearly execution figure compared to the previous year; and China, which announced a crackdown on criminal acts affecting COVID-19 prevention efforts, resulting in at least one man being sentenced to death and executed. Meanwhile, the Trump administration resumed federal executions after a 17-year hiatus and put a staggering 10 men to death in less than six months. India, Oman, Qatar and Taiwan also resumed executions, international media reported. “As the world focused on finding ways to protect lives from COVID-19, several governments showed a disturbing determination to resort to the death penalty and execute people no matter what,” said Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International. “The death penalty is an abhorrent punishment and pursuing executions in the middle of a pandemic further highlights its inherent cruelty’’.