Last year, sub-Saharan Africa made great strides in the global fight to abolish the death penalty with a significant decrease in death sentences being imposed across the region and important legal developments, reinforcing its position as a beacon of hope for abolition.
Countries that are staunch supporters of the death penalty took steps to reduce its use. Iran and Malaysia adopted legislative amendments that could reduce the use of the death penalty for drug-related offences. Amnesty International also recorded a noticeable decrease in the overall number of executions carried out for drug-related offences.
However, with some countries taking steps backwards – or threatening to – the campaign against the death penalty remains as essential as ever.