This report covers the judicial use of the death penalty for the period January to December 2021. Amnesty International reports only on executions, death sentences and other aspects of the use of the death penalty, such as commutations and exonerations, where there is reasonable confirmation. In many countries governments do not publish information on their use of the death penalty.

Amnesty International recorded 883 executions in 20 countries in 2022, marking a 53% increase from 579 recorded in 2021. This figure represents the highest number of executions that Amnesty International has recorded in the past five years (since 2017, when 993 executions were recorded).

Globally, there were at least 2,016 new death sentences imposed in 2022. And in Malaysia, Amnesty International confirmed at least 16 new death sentences, half of which were imposed for drug trafficking.

The authorities of Malaysia continued to observe an official moratorium on executions that was imposed in 2018 and supported the UN General Assembly’s eight resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. The resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority on 15 December 2022, in consistency with the global trend towards abolition. At the end of 2022, 112 countries were abolitionist for all crimes, while 9 were abolitionist for ordinary crimes only.