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Further information on UA 180/93 (MDE 17/02/93, 4 June and follow-ups MDE 17/04/93, 10 June, MDE 17/08/93, 20 October and MDE 17/10/93, 13 December) - Kuwait: fear of death penalty / legal concern / fear of torture: Ra'ad 'Abd al-Amir 'Abbud al-Asadi, Wal

, Index number: MDE 17/005/1994

On 4 June 1994 the State Secrity Court sentenced six men to death following their conviction on charges of participation in an alleged assassination attempt on former US President George Bush. The sentences are due to be reviewed within the next 30 days; if upheld, they will have to be ratified by the Amir of Kuwait before execution. AI is concerned that the trial was not fair: the defendants were denied the basic right to have a lawyer defending them at all stages of proceedings and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty was jeopardized by statements made by the public prosecutor and by the US Government. AI opposes the death penalty in all cases.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 15/05/94
Distr: UA/SC
6 June 1994
Further information on UA 180/93 (MDE 17/02/93, 4 June 1993) - and
follow-up(s): MDE 17/04/93 10 June 1993, MDE 17/08/93 20 October 1993, MDE
17/10/93 13 December 1993) - Fear of Death Penalty/Legal Concern/Fear of Torture
KUWAIT:Ra'ad 'Abd al-Amir 'Abbud al-Asadi: Iraqi, aged 33
Wali 'Abd al-Hadi 'Abd al-Hassan al-Ghazali: Iraqi, aged 36
Salem Nasser Subaih Rumi al-Shummari: Iraqi, aged 34
Bandar 'Ujail Jaber al-Shummari: Iraqi, aged 24
'Adel Isma'il 'Issa al-'Utaibi: Iraqi, aged 44
Badr Jiyad Thamer Mutlaq al-Shummari: Kuwaiti, aged 30
On 4 June 1994, the State Security Court sentenced six men to death following
their conviction on charges of participation in an alleged assassination attempt
on the former United States president, George Bush, during his visit to Kuwait
in April 1993. The sentences are due to be reviewed before the Court of
Cassation within the next 30 days. If the sentences are upheld they will have
to be ratified by the Amir of Kuwait before they are carried out. Seven other
defendants in the trial were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 years
to 6 months, and Nasser'Abd al-Ridha Hussain al-Mil, a 43-year-old Kuwaiti
was acquitted.
Amnesty International believes that the trial has failed to meet internationally
recognized standards for a fair trial. The defendants were denied the basic
right to have a lawyer defending them at all stages of the proceedings. The
right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to the law was
jeopardised by statements made by Kuwait's Public Prosecutor at a press
conference on 16 May 1993 in which he stated that the defendants were "criminals
who allied with the devil and conspired with him to try to assault Kuwait's
honoured guest ... [and that] investigations proved without doubt that it was
the Iraqi intelligence service which moved this rotten group of accused persons
to execute the plans of the evil Iraqi regime ...". In addition, statements
made by the US Government justifying the air strike on Baghdad on 26 June on
the grounds that its investigations provided "compelling evidence" that there
was an Iraqi intelligence assassination plot, and the statement of the Kuwaiti
authorities welcoming the air strike, appear to further undermine the
defendants' presumption of innocence.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases as a violation
of the right to life, and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman
and degrading treatment or punishment, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Amnesty International has repeatedly drawn attention to its concerns about
procedures followed by the State Security Court, stating that they do not conform
to international standards for fair trial, and that defendants are denied the
full right to appeal available in ordinary criminal cases. Defendants tried
before the State Security Court have the right to a limited review of their
case by the Court of Cassation, while criminal defendants may have their case
reviewed before the Court of Appeal in issues of fact and law followed by a
further review of possible legal errors by the Court of Cassation.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express and airmail
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letters either in English or in your own language:
- urging that the death sentences passed on Ra'ad 'Abd al-Amir 'Abbud al-Asadi,
Wali 'Abd al-Hadi 'Abd al-Hassan al-Ghazali, Salem Nasser Subaih Rumi
al-Shummari, Bandar 'Ujail Jaber al-Shummari, 'Adel Isma'il 'Issa al-'Utaibi
and Badr Jiyad Thamer Mutlaq al-Shummari be commuted in the event that they
are upheld by the Court of Cassation;
- calling for a retrial in which the right of access to defence counsel at
all stages of the proceedings, and the full right of appeal are guaranteed.
APPEALS TO:
1) His Highness Shaikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah
Amir of the State of Kuwait
Al-Diwan al-Amiri
Al-Safat
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Telegrams: His Highness Shaikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Faxes: +965 539 6434
Salutation: Your Highness
2) His Highness Shaikh Sa'ad al-'Abdallah al-Sabah
Crown Prince and Prime Minister
Al-Diwan al-Amiri
Al-Safat
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Telegrams: His Highness Shaikh Sa'ad al-'Abdallah al-Sabah, Kuwait City,
Kuwait
Faxes: +965 539 6434
Salutation: Your Highness
3) His Excellency Mshari al-'Anjari
Minister of Justice and Administrative Affairs
Ministry of Justice and Administrative Affairs
PO Box 6, Al-Safat, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Telegrams: His Excellency Mshari al-'Anjari, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Faxes: +965 246 6957
Salutation: Your Excellency
4) Mr Muhammad 'Abd al-Hay al-Bannay
Public Prosecutor
Ministry of Justice and Administrative Affairs
PO Box 6, Al-Safat, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Telegrams: Mr Muhammad 'Abd al-Hay al-Bannay, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Faxes: +965 246 6957
Salutation: Dear Sir
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
1) Local human rights groups:
(a) Kuwait Association for the Defence of War Victims
PO Box 2211, Al-Salmiyya 22023, Kuwait
Faxes: +965 533 2233
(b) Committee for the Defence of Human Rights
The National Assembly (Parliament)
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Faxes: +965 241 6538
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2) Newspaper:
Al-Qabas
PO Box 21800, Kuwait City 13078, Kuwait
Faxes: +965 4834 355
and to diplomatic representatives of KUWAIT accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 18 July 1994.

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