The case of Wu Ying, the Chinese businesswoman who faces execution for raising money illegally (Loans that led to death row: tycoon's case brings renewed cries for reform, 22 March), is another reminder of the vast scope of China's capital punishment system. As our new report published today on the death penalty shows, the overwhelming majority of countries no longer carry out executions but, among those that do, few come even close to China in the use of capital punishment for non-lethal crimes. Some 55 crimes are punishable by death, including corruption and organising prostitution.
China's leadership argues the country is not ready to abolish the death penalty, even for economic crimes, but Wu Ying's case has sparked public outcry. In response the Chinese authorities should end capital punishment for economic crimes, offer clemency procedures in other cases and – after years of secrecy – publish figures on how many it actually executes.
Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK
(source: Letter to the Editor, The Guardian)