A report by international human rights organization, Amnesty International, AI has revealed that 21,919 people are waiting for the hangman worldwide.
The report also revealed that the Middle East and North Africa region has the highest record of a number of drug-related executions in 2017, while the Asia-Pacific region had the most countries resorting to the death penalty for this type of offense.
Countries that sentenced people to death for drug-related offenses, according to AI include China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
The organization further noted that Singapore hanged eight people in 2017, all for drug-related offenses. Similarly, death sentence for drug-related offenses skyrocketed in Saudi Arabia rising from 16% of total executions in 2016 to 40% in 2017.
AI, however, noted that in Sub-Saharan Africa, there has been a decrease in the number of death sentences.
It noted that Guinea has totally abolished death penalty thus becoming the 20th state in sub-Saharan Africa to do away with a death penalty for all crimes.
Also, Kenya has abolished the mandatory death penalty for murder, while Burkina Faso and Chad also took steps to repeal this punishment with new or proposed laws.
But Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty asserted that the progress in sub-Saharan Africa reinforced its position as a beacon of hope for abolition.
He added that with 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa having abolished the death penalty for all crimes, it is high time that the rest of the world followed their lead and consigns the abhorrent punishment to the history books.
AI also asked world leaders to totally forgo death penalties which it described as a symptom of a culture of violence, not a solution to it.
The organization insisted that with at least 21,919 people known to be under sentence of death globally, now is not the time to let up the pressure.
AI added that death penalties could be ended in the world if every country stands against the cruel punishment.