Saudi Arabia and beyond
While Saudi Arabia’s brutal mass beheading of 47 people continues to dominate headlines and outrage opponents of capital punishment around the world, it may come as something of a surprise to learn that the Sunni kingdom doesn’t even come close to topping the global execution chart.
With more than 1,000 state-organised executions in 2014 alone, China puts almost four times as many people to death each year than its nearest challenger Iran.
While the shock of China’s extraordinary execution figures may be dampened somewhat when its population of 1.3 billion people is taken into account, Iran is only the 16th most populous country in the world – making the 289 plus executions there in 2014 totally disproportionate to its population. The USA is the only Western nation on the list.