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ADDRESS of Pope Francis
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La Cina è il paese che giustizia più persone
China executes more people than any other nation
AMNESTY: 2,390 EXECUTED LAST YEAR

March 24, 2009: Countries in Asia carried out more executions in 2008 than the rest of the world put together, campaign group Amnesty International said in its annual report. The Middle East region reported the second highest number of executions, the group said.
Of the at least 2,390 people put to death worldwide in 2008, 93 percent of these were executed in five countries - China, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States - Amnesty said.
At least 8,864 were sentenced to death in 52 countries last year, according to Amnesty. "In many regions, including Africa, death sentences continue to be passed in the hundreds."
China carried out at least 1,718 executions in 2008 but the actual figure may be much higher as it is one of the countries where secrecy surrounds the use of the death penalty, the group noted.
Iran performed at least 346 executions, Saudi Arabia at least 102, the US 37, Pakistan at least 36, Iraq at least 34 , Yemen and Afghanistan at least 17 and Yemen at least 13.
The death penalty was carried out in 25 countries worldwide and methods of execution included beheading, hanging, shooting, lethal injection (China and US) stoning (Iran) and electrocution (US).
Iran executed 8 prisoners who were under 18 at the time of the offence - acts described by Amnesty as "a flagrant breach of international law."
Just one European country - Belarus - is still applying the death penalty. "Europe would be a 'death penalty free zone' if it were not for Belarus," said Amnesty's secretary-general Irene Khan.
"Despite positive developments, a number of tough challenges remain," Amnesty said.
As in previous years, a large number of death sentences were handed down in trials that failed to meet internationally recognised standards for fairness, the group said.
A number of executions were carried out after proceedings that relied upon confessions extracted through torture in violation of international law, Amnesty said.
But the group stressed that some progress is being made. "The majority of the world is moving a step closer to the abolition of the death penalty," it said.
Only 25 of the 59 countries that retain the death penalty are actually carrying out executions, according to Amnesty.
"The good news is that the vast majority of executions are carried out by only five countries, which shows that the world is moving away from this horrible punishment," said Khan.
The United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty was adopted last December by a large number of states. (Sources: AKI, 24/03/2009)

YEMEN COURT CONDEMNS 'IRAN SPIES'
NIGERIA: FG COMMUTED 45 DEATH SENTENCES IN 2008
TUNISIA: TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER AND RAPE
SYRIA: THREE MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDERING DIPLOMAT
PAKISTAN: 114 ON DEATH ROW AT CPK
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: COURT UPHOLDS FIRST DEATH SENTENCE SINCE 2005
IRAN: YOUNG PRISONER EXECUTED IN SANANDAJ CENTRAL PRISON
SAUDI ARABIA: TWO EXECUTED FOR MANSLAUGHTER
CHINA: ABDUCTOR OF NINE BOYS EXECUTED BY LETHAL INJECTION
CHINA MILK SCANDAL TERMS UPHELD
KAZAKHSTAN: MAJILIS APPROVES AMENDMENTS TO LEGISLATION ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
TAIWAN: ACTIVISTS URGE END OF DEATH PENALTY FOLLOWING REPORT
BELARUS SAYS MOVES TOWARDS DEATH PENALTY MORATORIUM
UAE COURT CONDEMNS NATIONAL FOOTBALLER TO DEATH
JAPAN UNDER FIRE FOR 'SECRETIVE, INHUMANE' DEATH PENALTY
YEMEN: DEATH PENALTY IN ISRAEL SPY CASE
NIGERIA: 200 INMATES ON DEATH ROW
TUNISIA: SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR DOUBLE HOMICIDE
IRAN: ONE MAN HANGED IN SIRJAN
VIETNAM: DEATH SENTENCE UPHELD IN DRUG TRAFFICKING CASE
JAPAN: DEATH PENALTY GIVEN TO FRAUD-RING MEMBER
CHINA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR KILLING WIFE
NEW MEXICO (USA): GOVENOR SIGNS LAW ABOLISHING DEATH PENALTY
JAPAN: TWO GET DEATH PENALTY FOR MURDER
INDONESIA: USE OF DEATH PENALTY INCREASED
JAPAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING TWO WOMEN
NIGERIA: ANAMBRA ASSEMBLY PRESCRIBES DEATH PENALTY FOR KIDNAPPING
IRAQ: GOVERNMENT URGES EXECUTION OF SADDAM-ERA OFFICIALS
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN BEHEADED FOR MURDER
IRAN: FOUR HANGED FOR MURDER, RAPE

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