The execution of three men in Kuwait today (1 April) - the first in the country for nearly six years - has been condemned as a “deplorable setback” for the country.
The three men - a Pakistani, a Saudi national, and a 'Bidun', one of the stateless minority in Kuwait, had been convicted of murder. A news report suggested that the executions would be shown live on TV but that does not appear to have happened.
Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Ann Harrison said: “These are the first executions carried out in Kuwait since 2007 and mark a deplorable setback for human rights in the country.
“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.
“By carrying out these death sentences, Kuwait has chosen to align themselves with an isolated group of executioners regionally and globally.”
Four countries - Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen - account for 99 per cent of all executions in the region. More than 44 people are currently reported to be on death row in Kuwait.
More than two-thirds of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Amnesty - which 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 - will publish its annual statistics (for the year 2012) on the use of the death penalty worldwide on Wednesday 10 April.