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Kuwait executes seven people, first since 2017

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(Photo: Envato Elements)

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait put seven people to death for murder on Wednesday, the public prosecutions service said, the first executions since 2017.اضافة اعلان

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 coincided with a visit by European Commission vice president Margaritis Schinas, and the EU said it was summoning Kuwait’s ambassador in response.

“The EU calls for a halt to executions and for a complete de facto moratorium on carrying out the death penalty, as a first step towards a formal and full abolition of the death penalty in Kuwait,” the bloc said in a statement.

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

Kuwait has executed dozens of people since it introduced the death penalty in the mid-1960s. Most of those condemned have been murderers or drug traffickers.

In April 2013, Kuwaiti authorities hanged three men convicted of murder. Two months later, two Egyptians, convicted of murder and abduction, were executed.

The executions in Kuwait come less than a week after Saudi Arabia said it had executed two Pakistanis for smuggling heroin, ending a nearly three-year hiatus in executions for drug offences.

Since then, there have been six more executions for drug offences, including two Saudis put to death on Tuesday and a Jordanian on Wednesday.

So far, 136 executions have been carried out this year in the kingdom, nearly double last year’s total of 69, according to an AFP tally.

Saudi Arabia executed 27 people in 2020 and 187 in 2019.

In January 2021, the kingdom’s human rights commission announced a moratorium on administering the death penalty for drug crimes.

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