Countries with the death penalty

If you are interested in exploring different and unique cultures on your next trip then maybe visiting a country that still has the death penalty as a punishment intrigues you. Capital punishment is an antiquated form of punishment in our part of the world but you would be surprised to find just how prevalent it is in other corners of the globe.

    George Eastman House - Wikimedia

While Belarus is the only current European country to carry out executions, there are still 36 other countries that maintain it in both law and practice. Crimes that commonly result in capital punishment are murder, rape, drug trafficking and other serious and violent crimes. While this is a controversial issue that should be looked at more in-depth, here is a glimpse into 4 other countries that tend to have the highest numbers of annual executions. Keep in mind though that the number may not be accurate as many of these countries have secret and unaccounted for executions.

Currently China has 55 crimes that are punishable by death, many of which are non-violent such as illegal fundraising, weapons smuggling, fraud, production or sale of counterfeit medicine, robbery and cowardice. According to human rights group, The Duihua Foundation, there were an estimated 2,400 people executed in 2013, which was higher than the rest of the world combined. Executions are highly secretive, so the number may vary greatly. In the past, death by firing squad was common, but the country has now adopted lethal injection.

In 2013, Iran is said to have carried out 369 executions. Committing crimes such as child molestation, treason, robbery and terrorism will result in the death penalty in this part of the world. Public executions takes place at 4am before the Morning Prayer wherever the crime was committed. Commonly people are executed by hanging and in rarer events by stoning or by firing squad. Iran claims that the high number of executions is due to number of drug lords and dealers that they have to deal with harshly.

After the invasion in June of 2003 in Iraq, capital punishment was suspended but then reinstated in 2004. Aggravated murder, arson, intentionally causing a flood and damaging or sabotaging public structures can all result in execution by hanging. In 2013 alone, Amnesty International recorded 169 executions in Iraq where no one over the age of 70 can be executed.

Saudi Arabia is said to have carried out a minimum of 79 executions in 2014, half of them being foreigners from developing countries who have been caught smuggling drugs or have committed murder. They are regularly carried out in Central Riyadh and are commonly done through beheading. Some of the offences that those being executed have been accused of include rape, false prophecy, blasphemy, apostasy, witchcraft and sorcery, sodomy, homosexuality or lesbianism.

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