More than 1600 people were executed in 2015, fifty percent more than in 2014. The dramatic rise is mainly due to Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Last year Pakistan executed the largest number of people ever recorded by NGO Amnesty International.
Rights activists in Pakistan have launched a campaign to recover peace campaigner Raza Khan, who was allegedly abducted in Lahore. Civil society groups say progressive activists are routinely "kidnapped" in the country.
Despite orders from the government to help disperse Islamist protesters, Pakistan's military has reportedly chosen not to intervene. Hardliners are demanding the resignation of the law minister over a blasphemy row.
Fishel Benkhald tells DW he has faced immense social discrimination in Pakistan following his registration of Jewish faith, but he will continue to raise voice for the rights of religious minorities in the country.
Iranian lawmakers have amended the country's strict laws on narcotics, making it harder to put people to death for drug-related crimes. The law could affect hundreds of inmates on death row in the conservative country.
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