KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait put seven people to death for murder on Wednesday, the public prosecutions service said, as the first executions since 2017 went ahead despite appeals from a prominent rights group.

One Ethiopian woman and one Kuwaiti woman were among those hanged, along with three Kuwaiti men, a Syrian and a Pakistani, a statement said.

The executions are the first since January 25, 2017, when the oil-rich Gulf country also hanged a group of seven people, including one member of the royal family.

They come only days after Saudi Arabia said it had executed two Pakistani nationals for smuggling heroin, ending a nearly three-year hiatus in executions for drug crimes. In a statement late on Tuesday, Amnesty International urged a halt to the executions, calling them “the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment”.

Kuwaiti “authorities must immediately establish an official moratorium on executions”, Amnesty’s deputy regional director Amna Guellali said in a statement.

Capital punishment is widespread in the Gulf region, particularly in Iran and Saudi Arabia, where 81 people were executed in a single day in March, drawing international condemnation.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2022

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