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Sunday, 30 June, 2002, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Kuwait hangs maid murderers
Kuwait City
The executions took place in Kuwait City
The authorities in Kuwait have executed three Bangladeshi men convicted of raping and murdering a Sri Lankan maid during a burglary.

Mohammad Zahar Abdul Sattar, Anwar al-Zamaan and Anwar Khan Mohammad were hanged despite appeals from the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Khaleda Zia, and international human rights groups.


No doubt, this will cut down on crime in our country

Hamed al-Othman, Kuwaiti Prosecutor General

The execution was carried out behind closed doors but later, for the first time in 20 years, the public was allowed to view the bodies, still hanging from the gallows.

"This achieves public deterrence," said Prosecutor General Hamed al-Othman after the hangings. "No doubt, this will cut down on crime in our country."

Shocked

Hundreds of Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates, including several children, watched as a doctor pronounced the men dead and the nooses were removed from their necks.

The BBC's Heba Saleh said the move appeared to be an effort to assuage public anger over a perceived increase in violent crime in the country.

"We are naturally shocked," Zahurul Huq , a spokesman for the Bangladeshi foreign ministry, told the French news agency AFP in Dhaka. "We are trying to bring the bodies of the victims to Bangladesh."

The London-based human-rights group Amnesty International pleaded with Kuwait last week not to carry out the executions.

The three men were convicted of raping and murdering the maid at her employer's home in 1996.

In 2001, an appeals court overturned their life sentences and condemned the men to death for their crime.

The Kuwaiti Government did re-examine the case for two weeks after a recent appeal from the Bangladeshi prime minister, officials in Dhaka said.

Kuwait has executed 21 people since the Gulf War ended in 1991.

See also:

08 Feb 02 | Country profiles
10 Jun 02 | Middle East
29 May 02 | Middle East
14 May 02 | Middle East
17 Jun 02 | South Asia
01 Nov 00 | South Asia
11 Mar 02 | South Asia
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