Kuwait executed for the first time this Wednesday a member of the ruling royal family, along with six other inmates, the Public Prosecutor’s Office reported . Sheikh Faisal Abdullah al Sabah was convicted in mid-2011 for killing another prince in a dispute the previous year. They are the first death sentences since 2013, when the emirate dropped a six-year moratorium.
According to local press accounts, Sheikh Faisal, then a captain in the Kuwaiti Army, shot his nephew, Sheikh Basil Salem al Sabah, during a visit to him at Masilah Palace without the cause will be revealed. Basil was the nephew of the former emir, Sheikh Sabah (who ruled from 1965 to 1977), but he had no official position and the authorities ruled out political motives. Faisal was arrested and sentenced to death; the sentence was ratified in 2013.
Even so, his execution was a surprise. On a previous occasion when the courts have convicted a member of the royal family, the emir has commuted the sentence. The Al Sabah have ruled for two and a half centuries.
Along with the prince, a Kuwaiti woman, two Egyptian citizens, a Filipina, an Ethiopian and a Bangladeshi have also been hanged in the Central Prison. All of them were convicted of premeditated murder, except the last one, convicted of kidnapping and rape. The most notorious case was that of the Kuwaiti woman, Nasra al Enezi, who caused the deaths of 57 women and children by setting fire to one of the tents where her husband’s wedding to a second wife was being held. After the ratification of the verdicts in individual courts of appeal and cassation, the death penalty has been confirmed by the emir , according to the state news agency, Kuna.
Human rights organizations condemned the resumption of executions in Kuwait in 2013 . That year, five inmates were executed. Since the introduction of the death penalty in the mid-1960s, the emirate has executed 74 men and 6 women, according to a Reuters count. Currently, fifty people are on death row.