This in-depth investigation by Amnesty International reports that the Chinese authorities continue to enforce an elaborate secrecy system to obscure the shocking scale of executions in the country, despite repeated claims it is making progress towards judicial transparency.
Key trends in 2016
The fall in executions worldwide is largely driven by drops in Iran (down 42% from at least 977 to at least 567) and Pakistan (73%, from 326 to 87).
In sub-Saharan Africa fewer executions were recorded but the number of death sentences more than doubled, largely due to a steep rise in Nigeria.
In the Middle East and North Africa the number of executions decreased by 28%, but Iran and Saudi Arabia remained among the top executioners
Two countries abolished the death penalty for all crimes (Benin and Nauru); Guinea abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes only.