/ 3 May 2006

Kuwait hangs five in biggest group execution in 16 years

Three Kuwaitis and an Indian convicted of murder and a Pakistani found guilty of drug trafficking were hanged in Kuwait on Tuesday, the largest number of executions in a single day in 16 years.

The five men were hanged inside the interior ministry building in Kuwait City before dozens of spectators were allowed to view their hooded corpses.

Farraj al-Rukaibi, a Kuwaiti, was convicted of raping and murdering a Pakistani girl and of raping an Egyptian girl after abducting them both.

Another Kuwaiti, Mohammad al-Shimmari, was convicted of abducting an Asian maid and then raping her after she died.

The woman jumped to her death from Shimmari’s car while trying to escape. But he then took her body to the desert and raped her while ”she was in a pool of blood”, according to his confession.

Saad al-Mutairi, also a Kuwaiti, was convicted of shooting two Asian maids dead when he tried to rob their employer’s house.

Shukrallah Ansari, an Indian, was convicted of robbing and murdering his Kuwaiti employer in the desert, while Mian Mohammad Iqbal of Pakistan was convicted of smuggling a large quantity of drugs.

Authorities reintroduced public hangings in June 2002 following a steep rise in drug offences and murders.

Kuwait has executed a total of 66 people, three of them women, since its first use of the death penalty some four decades ago. Most have been convicted murderers or traffickers.

Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia had the most executions among Arab Gulf states with 83 in 2005 alone. The death penalty is meted out in the kingdom for murder, rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking. – Sapa-AFP