2017: Seven in Kuwait, including a sheikh

A sheikh, and six others much less exalted hanged this morning in Kuwait.

Garnering most of the headlines, Sheikh Faisal Abdullah al-Jaber al-Sabah — the first Kuwaiti royal ever put to death — shot an equally royal nephew dead in 2010.

He was one of only two actual Kuwaitis among the seven hanged; the population of the oil-rich Gulf emirate is more than half comprised of foreign nationals at any given time. The other Kuwaiti was a woman, Nasra al-Enezi, who vengefully set fire to a wedding tent when her husband took a second wife. More than 50 people reportedly died in the blaze.

The Philippines was exercised over the fate of its national, Jakatia Pawa — a domestic worker condemned for stabbing her employer’s adult daughter to death. Kuwait is the sixth-largest destination for the vast expatriate labor sector known as Overseas Filipino/a Workers (OFWs).

An Ethiopian maid, unnamed in the press reports that I have been able to find, was also convicted of murder, as were two Egyptians. The seventh to go to the scaffold today was a Bangladeshi man condemned for a non-fatal kidnapping and rape.

Human rights organizations were naturally aghast, with Human Rights Watch denouncing the mass hanging — on the heels of capital punishment resumptions in Jordan and Bahrain — as part of an “alarming trend in the region for countries to return to or increasingly use the death penalty.”

On this day..

3 thoughts on “2017: Seven in Kuwait, including a sheikh

  1. Arab states are notorious for their treatment of migrant workers. But this happened in several other oil countries as well, including Libya under Ghadaffi. Apparently some Arabs view the non-Arab migrants as a kind of slaves. Not surprisingly because Saoudi Arabia and even the Sudan were about the last states to abolish slavery. The death penalty in Kuwait is a heinous thing but nothing compared to capital punishment in Saoudi Arabia. However Iran is the champion executing three times as many people as the Saoudis while having only twice as many inhabitants..And while the executed people in Kuwait were mostly convicted of killing others in Iran one can get executed for economic crimes, just as in China.. A fine kettle of fish…

  2. The one about the scorned first wife setting the wedding tent of fire is really thought provoking. It reminds me of an interview of Afghan refugees that I saw on German TV some months ago. There are two women married to the same man at a table. One wife, younger so probably the second says, that she has a great relationship with the mans other wife, while that woman turns her face to the side and casts her eyes downward.
    Although polygamy seems to generally be mysoginistic and a form of class warfare to boot. Some time after that interview I was forced to admit that I can not condemn individual polygamists when I read about another case. This one in Nigeria. In this case a man took a second wife as he was forced to marry his first wife. His first wife had actually married his brother. Unfortunately his brother had died. It is the local custom under such circumstances for the oldest unmarried brother to marry his brother’s widow. Although I can see that from an emotional stanpoint that is probably not a sasitfactory rule under the circumstances it seems economically very practical for a country in which there is probably no centralized social security system.
    What this leads me to ask is should me condemn or admire a woman who killed 50 people to protest a mysonogistic custom for which there is absolutely no excuse for continuing in such a wealthy country as Kuwait. I imagine that many children were among the 50 plus victims and maybe even some slaves. The thing is this barbaric custom has costs as well.
    Challanging it and changing would take many more lives. Or Arab women can continue to sit on their ass and smile rather than fight for thier emancipation. That is why I admire this Kuwaiti woman.

    • i am sorry but the death of 50 people is literally overkill. Killing the bride and bridegroon is one thing, innocent bystanders another, During the last century polygamy in Arab countries was receding. The elite, like the Kings of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq were monogamous, at least in law. But with the desintegration of colonial/ western influence this trend was not continued.. But the resurgence of capital punishment is a bad thing: Pakistan, Bahrain, Jordan and most certainly Turkey in the future… Nevertheless, i have to defend Jordan. As far as i know capital punishment was reinstated after Daesh had burned a Jordan fighter pilot to death ..Oh, regarding polygamy. The muslims are a thousand years late; in the 11th century AD a rabbi in Worms ended the obsolete custom of polygamy among Jews..

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