In China, the death penalty is veiled in secrecy. Death penalty statistics are a state secret and there is a lack of transparency around the conditions in detention for individuals sentenced to death. However, information provided by individuals facing death sentences, their family members and lawyers reveal that China falls far short of guaranteeing the minimum standards as set out in international law.

Detainees facing the death penalty are kept in cells with other prisoners and are normally shackled. Family members and lawyers face obstacles meeting individuals in detention. Without reliable information on the treatment of bodies of executed individuals there are valid concerns that the practice of organ harvesting without consent is ongoing.

In April 2022, The Rights Practice submitted a report on the death penalty and its impact in China to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions. Mr. Morris Tidball-Binz called for inputs to inform his forthcoming report on the death penalty, to be presented at the 77th session of the General Assembly. He was especially interested in the impact of the death penalty on individuals sentenced to death, their family members and other persons concerned, and the circumstances surrounding the enforcement of the death sentence such as methods of execution.

Read our full submission here: Imposition of the Death Penalty and its Impact in the People's Republic of China

Banner image attribution: By Marcus Winkley, Unsplash.