Egypt still imposes the death sentence for premeditated murder - and its use of capital punishment is increasing. Last year, seven executions by hanging were recorded in Egypt, the ninth highest number in the world, according to Amnesty International. But the real number is believed to be higher, says the human rights group, which has been campaigning for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. A report published by the group in August last year to coincide with International Day Against the Death Penalty claimed that while the use of the death penalty was decreasing worldwide, in Egypt it had continued to rise, with 382 death sentences between 1996 and 2001. Amnesty International has been urging the Egyptian government to commute all death sentences and put a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty in the future. Last year, 3,797 executions were carried out across the globe, with the highest number, 3,400, in China. Iran had 159, Vietnam executed 64 and the United States 59, according to Amnesty.