Global executions surged in 2022: Amnesty International
The number of judicial executions recorded globally in 2022 reached the highest figure in five years, according to Amnesty International's annual review of the death penalty, released May 16. Excluding the thousands believed to have taken place in China, a total of 883 executions were recorded across 20 countries, marking a 53% increase from the previous year. The Middle East and North Africa region saw a significant rise in executions, with Saudi Arabia executing 81 people in a single day in March 2022 out of a year total of 196, while Iran executed a record-high 576 individuals. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt accounted for 90% of known executions outside of China. The true global figure is likely much higher due to secrecy surrounding the use of the death penalty in certain countries. China is believed to have remained the world's most prolific executioner.
Gambia Truth Commission calls for prosecutions
The Truth, Reconciliation & Reparations Commission (TRRC) of Gambia on Nov. 25 delivered its report to President Adama Barrow. The report, while not indicting any specific individual, recommends prosecutions for anyone who was associated with atrocities committed during the 22-year presidency of Yahya Jammeh. Based on nearly three years of inquiry and testimony from some 400 witnesses, the report details systemic crimes including widespread incidents of rape, killing, and torture. Officials of the National Investigative Agency and Jammeh's alleged personal hit squad known as "Junglas" were the main focus of the inquiry. At least 250 people were confirmed to have been killed by the state under Jammeh's rule.
China gets naval base in Djibouti —and Namibia?
Last month, the New York Times reported that China is to establish its first overseas military base as part of "a sweeping plan to reorganize its military into a more agile force capable of projecting power abroad." The base, in the Horn of Africa mini-state of Djibouti, will be used for policing the Gulf of Aden against piracy. The US also has 4,000 troops stationed at Djibouti's Camp Lemonnier—from which it conducts drone operations in Somalia and Yemen. Former colonial master France as well as Japan and other nations also station forces in Djibouti. (The Hill, Dec. 10) Now reports are mounting that China is seeking a second base in Africa—this time in Namibia, which currently hosts no foreign military forces.
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