Kuwait has voiced objection to criticism of its decision to execute seven convicts, asserting this step was taken after a lawful and transparent litigation based on the Kuwaiti penal code and its amendments.
This came after the Human Rights Watch said that Kuwait’s hanging of seven people was part of a worrying regional rise in imposing death penalty. Kuwait on Wednesday executed seven individuals – four men and three women – in the Central Prison.
These individuals included two Kuwaitis (Sheikh Faisal Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah and Nasra Al Enezi), two Egyptians, a Bangladeshi, a Filipina and an Ethiopian who were found guilty in cases of premeditated murder, rape or theft and were hanged in application of the verdicts pronounced by the lower courts, upheld by the courts of Appeals and Cassation and endorsed by HH the Amir.
In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Assistant Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs Ambassador Ghanim Al-Ghanim asserted, “The death penalty verdicts pronounced by the courts were in cases of premeditated murders and the punishment was carried out after exhausting all levels of litigation.
The verdicts were based on indisputable evidence that the convicts committed the crimes as charged. The evidence included testimonies from witnesses and confessions by those accused of committing grave crimes.” Al-Ghanim clarified the verdicts were announced following fair and public trials “in which all the guarantees stipulated by the Kuwaiti law were provided and lawyers assumed the task of defending their clients.” He affirmed, “The verdicts were upheld by the Cassation Court, the country’s highest court, and became res judicata that could not be challenged. By carrying out the court verdicts, Kuwait did not violate any of the covenants it had ratified, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Arab Charter for Human Rights, or international norms or the GCC Declaration of Human Rights.”
He added the national laws of Kuwait provided multiple safeguards in the case of death penalty. “This is very clear in the fact that such verdicts are pronounced by a high independent and neutral judiciary in public trials where the accused are defended by their lawyers,” he explained.
In a related development, a report published on the website of Vatican Radio (en.radiovaticana.va) said the Catholic bishops of the Philippines voiced their grief over the execution of a Filipina domestic helper in Kuwait and called on Filipinos to reconsider their stance on the revival of the death penalty in the Southeast Asian country.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) mourned the execution of Jakatia Pawa in Kuwait on Jan 25, 2017, saying it should serve as a clear message for Filipinos to reject the capital punishment.
“The fact that Jakatia protested her innocence to the end of her life only underscores the abhorrence at the death penalty and the sadness that we feel at Jakatia’s death should make us all advocates against the death penalty,” said CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen- Dagupan. Pawa was accused of killing her employer’s 22-year-old daughter in 2007, which she denied.