Capital punishment in China: the highest number of executions in the world

Stand: 15.11.2022 13:42 hrs

It is estimated that no country in the world executes more people than China. Because how high the number actually is, the communist government hides.

By Benjamin Eyssel, ARD Studio Beijing

In China’s legal system, about 50 crimes can be punished with the death penalty. This also includes some non-violent crimes such as drug smuggling, corruption or betrayal of state secrets. In China, executions are carried out with lethal injection and firearms.

Information remains a state secret

Human rights organizations assume that thousands of people are sentenced to death every year in the People’s Republic. Amnesty International estimates that China executed far more people last year than the rest of the world combined.

The exact number is a state secret. Documentation is therefore not possible. State and party leaders say capital punishment is rare and executions have fallen. This cannot be independently verified.

Hardly fair processes

Human rights activists describe the death penalty as inhumane and call on the communist government to abolish executions altogether. So does Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. The Chinese government has said in recent years that death sentences are more effectively judged at higher levels in the judiciary, Richardson said. “It is unacceptable to carry out human rights violations more efficiently. They must be completely eliminated,” she says.

Observers criticize that judicial processes in China fall short of international fair trial standards. There is no rule of law in China, trials often take place behind closed doors and almost all charges end in a conviction. According to human rights organizations, suspects and their relatives are often intimidated and confessions are coerced.

Death Penalty in China: Number One in Global Execution Statistics

Benjamin Eyssel, ARD Beijing, November 15, 2022 11:46 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *