At least 130 executions were carried out in 11 Asian countries in 2016. The vast majority of them were executed in Pakistan. However there is no data available about executions in China, still believed to be by far the world’s top executioner.
Overall the number of executions has decreased in the Asia pacific region due to a significant reduction in Pakistan. The total number of executions in the region fell from 367 in 2015 to 239 in 2016.
Although the number of executions in Pakistan has decreased from 326 in 2015 to 87 in 2016, it still tops the list of the countries with highest number of executions in the Asian region. The range of those executed varied from prisoners tried by military courts to those suspected of undertaking terrorist activities.
Bangladesh executed 10 people in 2016. Eight out of the ten were convicted of murder while two were tried by International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh) for the war crimes committed in 1971.
With secrecy around death penalties slightly lifted, Malaysia has seen an increase in the executions with 9 in 2016, compared to 6 in 2014 and 1 in 2015.
In Afghanistan where almost six hundred people were under sentence of death by the end of the year, in 2016, 8 people were executed related to terrorist activities.
Indonesia executed 4 people in the year 2016, 3 of them foreigners and 1 Indonesian. All four men were convicted of drug related offenses.
Two men who were executed had their clemency applications pending for a review when the executions were undertaken.
Singapore carried 4 executions in 2016 for murder and drug trafficking. Two of the four executed were Malaysian nationals and one was Nigerian. The country has also issued new restrictive guidelines for reviewing the death sentences of those convicted.
Japan executed 3 people in 2016, two men and one woman. The country’s Federation of Bar Association has called on the authorities to abolish the death penalty by the year 2020.
Taiwan executed one person within three weeks after his sentence was finalised.