Kuwait: Deplorable resumption of executions

The execution of three 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 first 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 six 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 three men executed were convicted of murder and included one Pakistani and one Saudi national, as well as one 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. Four 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 two-thirds of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.