At least 778 people were executed in 22 countries in 2013. In 2012, Amnesty International reported at least 682 executions in 21 countries worldwide.
Most executions took place in China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, USA and Somalia – in that order.
China executed more people than the rest of the world put together – but the true extent of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as data is considered a state secret, and the figure of 778 excludes the thousands of executions carried out in China.
There were stark rises in executions in Iran and Iraq. Iraq put at least 169 people to death, a 30% increase on 2012 (129). In Iran, officially acknowledged executions rose to at least 369 in 2013 – from at least 314 in 2012. But credible sources reported at least another 335 executions, bringing 2013’s total to at least 704.