China executed more people last year than the rest of the world combined, according to a report published today by Amnesty International. In other obvious news, Ricky Martin is gay, but you knew that already.
Amnesty said there were “thousands” of Chinese executions in 2009 — the precise number is considered a state secret — and the rights group called on Beijing to divulge how many it carries out.
The report said that at least 714 people were executed in 17 other countries, led by Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Methods of execution included beheading, stoning, electrocution, hanging, firing squads, lethal injection and listening to Sarah Palin speak for 48hours straight without food or water.
Amnesty said in its report last year that China had executed at least 1,718 people in 2008, nearly three-fourths of the 2,390 executions worldwide that year.
In Europe in 2009, for the first time since Amnesty International began keeping records, there were no executions. Belarus is the only European nation with the death penalty still on its books; the former Soviet republic reportedly executed two men two weeks ago.