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30march201012Dharamshala: Human rights group Amnesty International published its annual report on the death penalty, stating that 718 people from 18 different countries were executed last year. However, the group remarked that the actual figure could potentially be much higher considering the high amount of unreported executions. Amnesty suspected that thousands of off the record executions occurred in China alone.

Beijing administration reportedly claims that the country executes fewer people now than they have in past years, but despite this the details of their capital punishments are kept a secret. However, Amnesty said that "evidence from previous years and a number of current sources indicates that the figure remains in the thousands."

The amount of unreported executions is concerning particularly with regard to the current situation in Tibet, where unjustified executions could potentially be taking place. Execution is used as punishment for 68 offenses in China, including some non-violent crimes. Confessions are often extracted from suspects with the use of torture, and executions are carried out by lethal injection or firing squad.

"The time is long overdue for China to fall into live with international law and standards on the death penalty and be open and transparent regarding its use of capital punishment. If capital punishment is a legitimate act of government...there is no reason for its use to be hidden from the public and international scrutiny," said Amnesty's report.

Since March 2008 over 222 Tibetans have been killed, 1,294 injured and 290 sentenced, more than 5,600 were arrested or detained and over 1,000 disappeared after the Chinese armed military deadly cracked down in all parts of Tibet.

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