Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide

For detailed data regarding death-sentenced foreign nationals in the United States, please visit the Death Penalty Information Center's Foreign Nationals home page.

The data for other nations are very tentative: many retentionist countries do not release official statistics on death sentences, the size of death row or the number of executions. Entries for foreign nationals are derived mainly from media accounts or reports by human rights monitoring organizations such as Amnesty International.

Death sentences for foreign nationals outside of the USA are most commonly imposed for drug offenses, particularly in countries where the death penalty is mandatory for importing illegal drugs. In most of these countries, compliance with consular notification provisions under the VCCR ranges from infrequent to non-existent.

If you are aware of other cases that should be included, please contact me.

Many thanks to death penalty researcher Karen Hooper for extensively reorganizing and expanding this table and to Georges Rivalin for recent data on Thailand.


 

 

COUNTRY

REPORTED DEATH ROW POPULATION

REPORTED FOREIGN NATIONALS 

PAST EXECUTIONS OF FOREIGNERS

Afghanistan

Approx. 100

 1 Australian (01/10)

 

Bahrain

unknown

1 Ethiopian woman (2002, pending?)

 

Bangladesh

860

likely to include Indian nationals, others

 

Botswana

4

 

1 South African woman (2001)

Brunei  Darussalam

unknown

4 Malaysian nationals (2001, 2003)

 

Burundi

533

4 Rwandese 

 

Chad

20

 

1 Sudanese (2003)

China

unknown; at least 1,600 death sentences in 2003

3 Japanese (2007), at least 1 South Korean (2002), 2 Nepali, 10 Iranians (2010), 1 South African (2010), others

1 South Korean (2001), nationals of Taiwan, Myanmar, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Britain (2009), probably others; 1 Pakistani, 3 Filipinos (2011)

Congo

Around 200

2 Norwegians (reversed on appeal 4/10, but awaiting retrials)

 

Egypt

unknown

reportedly many foreigners, for drug offenses

Numerous, including 4 Sudanese, 2 Bangladeshis, 1 Somali, 1 Tanzanian, 1 Indian (all 1994)

Ethiopia

 up to 100

5 Somalis (2002)

 

India

up to 1,140

several Sri Lankans and Pakistanis reported, possibly others

 

Indonesia

Over 100

reports of 55 foreigners (01/2010): Nigeria (11), as well as nationals from Australia, Nepal, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, Thailand, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Bulgaria, Malawi and the Netherlands

1 Malaysian (1995), 1 Indian,  2 Thais (2004)

Iran

unknown

 Likely to include Iraqis, many Afghanis, other nationals from neighboring countries

3 Afghanis (2011)

Iraq

unknown

Tunisia (1) (11/11); probably other nationalities

1 Jordanian, for espionage (2000)

 

Japan

 

Around 100

China (2),  Malaysia (1), Korea (1)

 

Jordan

at least 16

 

1 Palestinian (2002), 1 Iraqi (2003), 1 Palestinian (2003)

Kuwait

at least 30

Saudis, probably other nationalities; 3 Bangladeshis (06/11)

1 Indian woman (2001), 3 Bangladeshis (2002), 2 Saudis, 2 Sri Lankans (2004), 1 Indian (2006)

Libya

unknown

1 Ghanaian, 4 Nigerians (one sentenced in absentia, 2001) 

 

Malaysia

at least 159

Many nationalities, including Filipinos, 1 Liberian; 4 Iranians, 1 Zambian woman, 1 Indonesian woman, 11 Indonesians, 2 Thais, 1 Singaporean, 1 Indian (11/11)

1 Australian/UK (1986), 1 Australian (1993), 1 Singaporean (1994)

Oman

unknown

2 Pakistanis (2001), 1 U.S. national (female), sentenced 07/18/04 (later commuted)

4 (nationality unknown, 2001)

Pakistan

about 7,700

1 Indian reported, probably includes nationals of other neighboring countries

1 Afghan (2001) 

Qatar

at least 19

1 Saudi (2001), 1 Jordanian (2002)

3 Indians (2000)

Saudi Arabia

unknown

many nationalities reported, including 29 Jordanians (11/11), 3 Pakistanis (04/11), 45 Indonesian women (01/13), as well as Sri Lankan, Filipina, Indian and Ethiopian foreign workers (01/13).

 

Over 200 reported in recent years. In 1995, 4 Turks. In 1999, at least 53, including 15 Pakistanis, 10 Nigerians (three of them women), 9 Afghans, 6 Indians, as well as nationals of Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Syria, Jordan, Ethiopia, Chad and Yemen. 
In 2000, 71 foreign nationals, including 8 from Nigeria and others from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iraq, Thailand and Syria. In 2001, 23 foreign nationals including 7 Indians, 4 Pakistanis, 1 Sudanese and 1 Ethiopian. In 2002, 20 foreigners (nationalities unknown).  In 2003, 31 foreign nationals including 19 Pakistanis and  6 Afghanis. Those executed since December 2004  include 13 Pakistanis, six Somalis, four Filipinos, three Indians, three Thais, five Iraqis, one Afghan, one Syrian, three Nigerians, one Indonesian woman (9/11), 1 Sri Lankan woman

Singapore

unknown

1 Australian, reported Malaysians, Thais and Indonesians, probably other nationalities

At least 100, including Filipina (1995), 2 Pakistanis (2002), 1 Malaysian (2003), 1 Indian (2003) as well as migrant workers from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand,  Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Ghana, the Netherlands, Britain and Portugal.

Swaziland

 at least 3

1 South African (2003)

 

Sri Lanka

Approx. 167

3 Chinese (2011)

 

Thailand

708

2 Israelis reported (2008),

1 Japanese (2009), 2 Chinese, also nationals from Ghana, Laos, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Singapore; as of 10/2011: Myanmar (20), Laos (8)
China (2), Nigeria (1), Taiwan (1), Cambodia (1) 

3 (?) Myanmar nationals (1999, 2000, 2001), 1 Hong Kong national and 1 Taiwanese (both 2001)

United Arab Emirates

unknown

Numerous, including  17 Indians, 5 Pakistanis, 2 Iranians, 1 Filipina, 1 Ukrainian, 1 Russian, 1 Afghan (2000); 17 Indians (commuted 9/11)

2 Pakistanis (1998, 1999), 1 Sri Lankan (1999), 1 Yemeni (2002)

United States

3,146 (10/12)

141, representing 37 nationalities (11/12)

28, since 1988: Mexico (8); Cuba (4); Germany (2); Viet Nam (2); Honduras (2); Guyana (1); Philippines (1); Dominican Republic (1); Canada (1); Paraguay (1); Thailand (1); South Africa (1); Iraq (1); Pakistan (1); Jamaica (1).

Uzbekistan

several hundred

1 Russian (2001)

 

Viet Nam

unknown; at least 103 death sentences in 2003

1 Nigerian (2011), almost certainly other nationalities 

1 Hong Kong (UK) (1995); dual nationals, including 1 Canadian (2000)

Yemen

several hundred

1 Spaniard, 1 Ukrainian, 1 Russian, probably others

 

 

Reported Commutations of Foreign Nationals' Death Sentences
 

 

COUNTRY OF SENTENCING

    NATIONALITY

Indonesia

1 Thai (sentenced in 1988, commuted in 1998)

Iran

1 Pakistani or Afghan juvenile (2001, sentence later commuted).

Japan

1 Nepali (eventually sentenced to life imprisonment, 2000)

Oman

1 Filipino, sentenced in 1999, pardoned in 2001

Philippines

1 Briton, released in 1999

Saudi Arabia

1 Briton and 1 Canadian (2002, sentences later commuted); 4 Indians (sentenced in 2008, commuted April 2011)

Swaziland

1 South African (sentence commuted in 2001)

Tanzania

2 Russians (2002, intervention of Russian authorities, sentences later commuted)

United Arab Emirates

1 Indonesian woman (2000, later commuted); one 14 year-old Pakistani, sentenced in 1990 and pardoned in 2000)

United States of America

3 Mexicans, 1 Pole, 1 Belizean (Illinois, 2003); 1 Mexican (Oklahoma, 2004)

Philippines

17 reported, nationality unknown (part of mass commutation, April 2006)

Libya

5 Bulgarians, 1 Palestinian (July 2007)

United Arab Emirates

17 Indians (sentenced in 2010, commuted September 2011); 3 Indians (sentenced in 2009, commuted May 2011)

Indonesia

2 Bulgarians (reportedly commuted in January 2013)

Last updated: 19 January 2013