Death Sentences and Executions 2013

March 26, 2014

Death Sentences and Executions 2013

Note on Amnesty International figures on the use of the death penalty

This report covers the judicial use of the death penalty for the period January to December 2013. Amnesty International records figures on the use of the death penalty based on the best available information. As in previous years, information is collected from a variety of sources, including official figures; information from individuals sentenced to death, and their families and representatives; reporting by other civil society organizations; and media reports. Amnesty International only reports figures on the use of the death penalty which can safely be inferred from its research.

In some countries, it is not possible to obtain reliable data because governments do not make figures for death sentences and executions available, while others actively conceal death penalty proceedings. In countries affected by conflict it is often not possible to obtain sufficient information to confirm whether any executions have taken place.

Since 2009, Amnesty International has stopped publishing estimates on the use of the death penalty in China, where data on the use of the death penalty is considered a state secret. The lack of reliable data does not allow Amnesty International to publish credible minimum figures for the use of the death penalty in the country; however, available information strongly indicates that China carries out more executions than the rest of the world combined.

The global figures in this report are minimum figures, meaning that the number of executions, new death sentences, and people under sentence of death is likely to be higher. The number of countries carrying out executions and imposing death sentences may also be higher. Where Amnesty International receives and is able to verify new information after publication of this report, the organization updates its figures online at

Where "+" appears after a figure next to the name of a country - for instance, Yemen (13+) - it means that this is the minimum figure calculated by Amnesty International. Where "+" appears after a country name without a figure - for instance, death sentences in Myanmar: (+) - it means that there were executions or death sentences (more than one) in that country but insufficient information to provide a credible minimum figure. When calculating global and regional totals, "+" has been counted as 2, including for China.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. The organization campaigns for total abolition of capital punishment.