Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kuwait to hang five more inmates

Three inmates were hanged
simultaneously in Kuwait on April 1
49 inmates on death row, 44 still awaiting Court of Cassation decision

Manama: Kuwait’s Central Prison is getting ready to execute five more people within days, a report in Kuwait City said.

“Instructions have been given to the Central Prison to prepare for the hanging of five inmates sentenced to death,” sources told local Arabic daily Al Jareeda.

The sources that the newspaper did not specify the nationalities of the detainees to be executed.

Kuwait on Monday carried out three executions following a hiatus since May 2007.

A Saudi, a Pakistani and a Kuwait resident without a nationality (bidoon) were hanged inside the Central Prison for murder,in the presence of officials.

Journalists were also allowed to witness the executions.

The sources said 49 inmates were on the death row, but added that 44 were still awaiting the decision of the Court of Cassation, the highest court in the country that could oversee their cases, Al Jareeda reported on Thursday.

Execution rulings have to be endorsed by the Emir before they are carried out.

Kuwaitis have seemingly brushed aside a statement by Amnesty International slamming their country for the executions and claiming that they marked “a real setback in a region where many countries show a shocking disregard for the right to life”.

Source: Gulf News, April 4, 2013


Amnesty: Deplorable resumption of executions

The execution of 3 men in Kuwait on 1 April marks a real setback in a region where many countries show a shocking disregard for the right to life.

"These are the 1st executions carried out in Kuwait since 2007 and mark a deplorable setback for human rights in the country," said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International's Deputy Programme Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

"In a region where executions are sadly all too commonplace, Kuwait marked a beacon of hope by declining to execute people for almost 6 years. That hope has been extinguished today. We deplore this resumption of executions, regardless of the crime."

"Kuwait should halt any further executions and should commute all death sentences and revise the law to exclude this most final of penalties."

The 3 men executed were convicted of murder and included 1 Pakistani and 1 Saudi national, as well as 1 Bidun ('without' in Arabic), one of the stateless minority in Kuwait. A news report had suggested that the executions would be shown live on TV but that does not appear to have happened.

More than 44 people are currently reported to be on death row in Kuwait.

4 countries - Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen - account for 99% of all executions in the region.

"By carrying out these death sentences, Kuwait has chosen to align themselves with an isolated group of executioners regionally and globally."

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, as a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

More than 2/3 of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

Source: Amnesty International, April 3, 2013