Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Amnesty calls for action as China executes 8,000 people a year

The Independent, UK, April 15, 2008

By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent

Nearly 400 prisoners will be put to death across China while the world's elite athletes compete for Olympic glory in Beijing, a leading human rights organisation warns today. Amnesty International disclosed that China used capital punishment far more than any other country, executing an estimated 8,000 offenders every year. That is equivalent to 22 prisoners being killed every day, or 374 executions during the 17 days of the Beijing Olympics in August.

Amnesty called for the world community, including the International Olympics Committee (IOC), to use the games to press the Chinese government to reduce the use of capital punishment, and urged Beijing to end its secrecy over the issue.

Kate Allen, Amnesty's UK director, said: "Yet again China has executed more people than any country in the world and even now, in Olympics year, China is secretly executing people after unfair trials and alleged torture. As the world's biggest executioner, China gets the 'gold medal' for global executions."

Continued . . .

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