Amnesty International reports a sharp rise in the number of executions carried out around the world. In a report released today, Amnesty said more than 3,797 people were executed last year. That is the second highest figure the human rights organization has recorded since its monitoring began 25 years ago. The highest number of executions was recorded by Amnesty in 1996 when the figure was 4,272. In its latest report, Amnesty said at least 3,400 executions were carried out last year in China. Iran was second, according to Amnesty, executing at least 159 people, at least three were children, including a 16-year-old girl hanged in public for "acts incompatible with chastity."