Executions in Kuwait a ‘setback for justice’

The execution earlier today of two Egyptian nationals by the Kuwaiti authorities is a huge setback for human rights in the country, said Amnesty International. Hajjaj Al-Saadi, an Egyptian who became known as the “Hawally Monster” after he was convicted of raping 17 children, was hanged at a prison in Kuwait today, along with Ahmad Abdulsalam, a second Egyptian national, who had been found guilty of murder. The Kuwaiti authorities have ignored calls from Amnesty International and other human rights groups for executions to be halted in the country. “Amnesty International reiterates its call for the Kuwaiti authorities to end all executions immediately and reinstate a moratorium on the death penalty,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program “We oppose the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime, or the individual’s guilt or innocence because it is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.” The organization wrote to His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, on 9 May to express its alarm at the resumption of the use of the death penalty, but has so far received no response. Kuwait carried out its first executions since 2007 last April, when three men were hanged after being convicted of murder. Five executions have been carried out in Kuwait in year. More than 44 people are currently reported to be on death row in the country.