executions in the world:

In 2020


2000 to present



  • Abolitionist
  • retentionist
  • De facto abolitionist
  • Moratorium on executions
  • Abolitionist for ordinary crimes
  • Committed to abolishing the death penalty


government: constitutional monarchy
state of civil and political rights: Partly free
constitution: 11 November 1962
legal system: mixed legal system consisting of English common law, French civil law, and Islamic religious law, incorporates elements of Islamic law concerning rights of the person
legislative system: Unicameral National Assembly (Majlis al-umma)
judicial system: Constitutional Court (consists of 5 judges); Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (organized into several circuits, each with 5 judges) High Court of Appeal
religion: 85% Muslim; 15% Christian
death row: 36 (as of 14 August 2016, according to Al-Shahed daily)
year of last executions: 1-4-2013
death sentences: 2
executions: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty) (only signed)

The death penalty is provided for by laws based on the Sharia. Capital crimes include murder, rape and crimes against the security.
Since 1995 the death penalty has been a mandatory punishment for certain drug-related offences.
Death sentences, which are normally carried out by hanging, can be appealed twice and must receive the final approval of the Emir of the State of Kuwait.

In 2017, 7 people were executed in the first executions in Kuwait since 2013. Three women from Kuwait, The Philippines and Ethiopia are among the hanged. Kuwait has executed a total of 78 men and six women since it introduced the death penalty in 1964. Most of those condemned have been convicted murderers or drug traffickers. In 2017, at least 16 death sentences were imposed, according the Hands off Cain monitoring, two for drug, seven for rape and the rest for murder. Among them a woman. The Emir, commuted 15 death senetneces of Indians during the year.
In 2016, death sentences were 49.

On 15 november 2016, Bader Al Ghadhoori, Head of juvenile protection at the Interior Ministry said that the Juvenile age in Kuwait has been lowered to 16 from 18 years. Kuwaiti teenagers have been warned that they could face the death penalty or heavy imprisonment for certain crimes. Beginning 2017 year, anyone aged 16 or more, arrested in a crime, will be tried by a regular court and not a juvenile court, which implies death penalty for certain crimes.

Blood money
Although the death penalty is permitted under the Islamic Sharia, it is restricted to cases involving capital crimes and is subject to numerous checks and controls, including the consent by the victim’s family and final approval by the country’s Amir.

The death penalty on women
Under the Penal Code, art. 59, a pregnant woman who gives birth to a live child will have her death sentence commuted to life imprisonment. Kuwait has acceded to the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which also prohibits the execution of pregnant women and of of nursing mothers. 
In Kuwait, as of 14 August 2016, there were 36 prisoners, including 6 women, sentenced to death for different crime sas murder, drug traffiking, kidnappin or rape, informed the daily Al-Shahed. Three women have been executed in January 2017 and at least one was sentenced to death during the year. 

United Nations
On 28 January 2015, Kuwait was reviewed under the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council. In its National Report, the Government said that although the death penalty was permitted under the Islamic Sharia, it was restricted to cases involving capital crimes and was subject to numerous checks and controls, including the approval by the country’s Emir. The Government informed that, during the period 2007-2013, the death penalty was enforced only in six cases (four cases involving criminal acts of murder, one case involving the smuggling of drugs for purposes of trafficking therein, and one case involving abduction and rape) and, during the same period, the Emir issued three decrees under the terms of which the death sentences passed on 16 persons were commuted to life imprisonment.
On 17 December 2018, Kuwait voted against the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.






Commutation of death sentences


Death penalty for violent crimes



Asia, Middle East, Australia and Oceania