China: Capital Punishment

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 25th April 2017.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the number of executions in China in 2016.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The British Government does not make estimates of the number of executions in China. However an Amnesty International report published on 11 April estimated that the number of executions carried out in China each year numbers in the "thousands", and is more than the rest of the world combined.

The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and we continue to urge the Chinese authorities to reduce their use of the death penalty and provide details of the numbers of executions in China. We last raised these concerns at the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in October 2016, which I attended.

Through our network of diplomatic posts, the UK is working with Chinese legal experts and the Chinese judiciary to support legislative and judicial reforms to limit the use of the death penalty. We have welcomed reductions in the number of crimes that attract the death penalty and the Supreme People's Court mandatory review of all death sentences.

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