Amnesty said there were “thousands” of Chinese executions in 2009 — the precise number is considered a state secret — and the rights group called on Beijing to divulge how many it carries out.
The report said that at least 714 people were executed in 17 other countries, led by Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Methods of execution included beheading, stoning, electrocution, hanging, firing squads and lethal injection.
Amnesty said in its report last year that China had executed at least 1,718 people in 2008, nearly three-fourths of the 2,390 executions worldwide that year.
“The Chinese authorities claim that fewer executions are taking place,” said Claudio Cordone, Amnesty’s interim secretary general. “If this is true, why won’t they tell the world how many people the state put to death?”