Spindelegger condems alarming increase in executions during 2011
Vienna, 28 March 2012 – “The significant increase in the number of executions worldwide is an alarming signal”, the Austrian Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said in a reaction to Amnesty International’s report on the death penalty in 2011 that was published yesterday. “While we welcome the fact that fewer states carried out capital punishment than in the years before, the figures still give reason for concern.”
Spindelegger continued: “We will continue to urge all countries enforcing capital punishment to finally abolish it, or at least introduce a moratorium for the execution as a first step. Death sentences against young people and public executions as in Iran, Saudi-Arabia or North Korea are particularly appalling. I am urgently appealing to all the countries concerned to finally put an end to the execution of young people."
Only last week, the death sentences were carried out in Belarus against Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov who had been convicted of bombing an underground railway station in Minsk. Belarus is the only European country that still uses capital punishment. This inhumane punishment must finally be banned from our continent", the Foreign Minister continued.
Amnesty International recorded executions in 20 states in 2011, compared to 23 in the year 2010. Worldwide, at least 676 executions are known to have been carried out, which is a significant increase compared to 527 executions in the previous year. The figure of 676 executions does not, however, include the several thousands of executions that are estimated to have been carried out in China. Since 2009, Amnesty International has not published any data on the number of executions in China, because this data is considered to be a state secret there. Nearly 2000 people in 63 countries were sentenced to death in 2011.
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