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Amnesty International;
World News

Charity says executions decreased, but death sentences were at a record high in 2016

However, the charity's still warning a record number of people were sentenced to death.

Almost 19,000 people were under a death sentence at the end of last year and there were more than 1,000 executions.

Bishop Declan Lang is Chair of the Catholic Bishops' Conference Department of International Affairs. 

He said: "It is welcome that worldwide use of the death penalty has decreased.

"However, there is still much more progress to be made. More than 1,000 people were executed last year – they are not just statistics.

"Every execution is a violation of the innate dignity of the human person and we must continue to heed Pope Francis' call to work for complete global abolition."

Liam Allmark is the public affairs and policy manager for the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

He told Premier's News Hour that the UK government can play a major part in abolishing the death penalty.

He said: "The UK has been a leader on this for a long time. 

"Now is the time to really step up that work by putting pressure on governments who do execute their own citizens and funding projects that promote abolition.

"Going forward, when we're looking at new trade deals, particularly after Brexit, [we should look] at ways we can encourage States to remove the death penalty from their statute books and stop executions." 

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