Iraq´s Rate of Executions Is Highest Per Capita

ROME, JUNE 20, 2001 ( Iraq had the highest rate of executions per capita in the world last year, says an anti-death penalty group.

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The Mideast country had one execution for every 50,000 people, compared with China´s one execution for every 1.2 million inhabitants, according to the Touch Not Cain group.

Worldwide, almost 2,000 people were executed last year, more than half of these were in China, the group said.

Seventy-two countries continue to use the death penalty; 123 countries have either abolished executions or almost abolished them.

Last year there were 1,100 executions in China. Then came Iraq, with around 400, according to Baghdad authorities. The Iraqi opposition says there were 2,000 executions.

It is followed by Iran, with at least 153 executions; Saudi Arabia, with 121, all public decapitations; the United States (85), Afghanistan (at least 30), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (20), Pakistan (17), Liberia (14), Jordan (8) and Cuba (6).

There were also death sentences in the Bahamas, Byelorussia, Burundi, Egypt, the Philippines, Japan, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, Somalia, Thailand, Taiwan and Yemen.

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