Press Release January 25th, 2017:
Kuwait has carried out its first executions since 2013, amid a rise in the use of the death penalty throughout the Gulf. The killings come days after another Gulf Kingdom, Bahrain, carried out its first executions since 2010.
According to reports, the authorities in Kuwait executed seven prisoners this morning, breaking a four-year moratorium. The executions follow a recent announcement in Kuwait that the age of eligibility for the death penalty would soon be lowered to 16. The head of juvenile protection at the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry, Bader Al Ghadhoori, announced the proposals during a talk warning students about the use of social media and the internet.
The execution of juveniles is illegal under international law. However, in 2016 Saudi Arabia executed several prisoners who were arrested as juveniles. The Saudi authorities executed a total of 154 prisoners last year, nearing the previous year’s record total of 158.
At least three Saudis who were children when they were arrested remain at imminent risk of execution. In Bahrain, there are fears for two men who were sentenced to death after they were arrested in the wake of political protests and tortured into ‘confessions’.
Reprieve has urged governments, to intervene to prevent Kuwait from sentencing juveniles to death; and to take action to stop further executions in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Notes to editors
1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: communications [at] reprieve.org.uk. Reprieve US, based in New York City, can be contacted on Katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org