Rights group Amnesty International says in its annual report on the death penalty that Iran and Iraq were responsible for a “sharp global spike” in executions last year.
The report released on March 27 says 778 executions are known to have taken place globally in 2013, an increase of almost 15 per cent on the previous year.
The document says at least 369 people were put to death in Iran and 169 in Iraq.
In Iraq, the paper says, the majority of those executed “were convicted under vague anti-terrorism laws.”
Salil Shetty, Amnesty’s secretary general, said the two states had indulged in a “virtual killing spree.”
The figures include neither China, which London-based Amnesty believes executed thousands of people, nor North Korea, where the group said it was likely that far more executions were carried out than the 70 about which it had reliable reports.
Based on reporting by AP, dpa, AFP
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