The Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Wednesday announced the nation’s first executions in seven years. The public prosecutor carried out the death sentences of four Kuwaitis, one Syrian national, one Pakistani national and one Ethiopian national at Kuwait’s Central Prison. Those executed were each convicted of premeditated murder in additional to various other crimes. According to Amnesty International, Kuwait last exercised the death penalty in 2017, hanging seven people, including one member of the Kuwait royal family.Yesterday, Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Amna Guellali urged authorities “urgently commute these and all other death sentences to prison terms and review its laws on the death penalty. The authorities must immediately establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty entirely.” The executions prompted outrage from foreign governments. European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said the executions may impact a pending proposal to allow visa-free travel between Kuwait and the EU.According to Amnesty International, 108 countries have banned the death penalty as of 2021. The organization estimates that 579 people were executed around the world in 2021, but experts believe that China may have executed thousands of people in classified proceedings.

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