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Rights panel chief rejects calls for cancellation of death penalty – Need to broadcast execution process: Tabtabaei

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 26: Chairman of parliament’s Human Rights Committee MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi and one of its members MP Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei support death penalty, based on their conviction that it is the best way to deter anyone who intends to kill others, reports Al- Rai daily.

Dr Al-Damkhi rejected the calls for cancellation of death penalty, insisting that it will pave the way for growth of terrorism and increased crime rate because the perpetrators will not fear about paying the price of his crime with his life. He said preservation of human rights includes protection of people’s lives from murderers by imposing most serious punishments on the latter.

Dr Al-Damkhi affirmed that he is in support of any declaration that respects human dignity and protects those who are exposed to any form of injustice, stressing that punishment is never issued unless the court is convinced without any doubt that the suspect had indeed committed the crime that he or she is accused of.

With a similar opinion, Dr Tabtabaei insisted that death sentences should be enforced within one year after the end of the judicial stages, indicating that execution of the killer often relieves the pains of the victim’s family. He called for the broadcasting of the execution process in order to deter those who intend to commit such crimes, adding that drug traders and rapists must also be sentenced to death.

In this regard, a number of the legal experts presented varied opinions concerning the death penalty. According to some, such a penalty, despite of its severity, can guarantee the security of the society. They believe the calls for cancellation of death penalty is like giving opportunities to criminals and murderers to practice their crimes.

Constitutional expert Dr Mohammad Al-Feli said the Kuwaiti Constitution prevents barbaric penalties but it does not define the level of barbarism, indicating that its definition depends on the social culture.

He stressed that replacing death penalty with payment of blood money is a known practice throughout history and is usually applied in cases of accidental or unintentional murders. He wondered whether the society will accept such an alternative or not.

Vice President of Kuwait Lawyers Society Sharyan Al-Sharyan said, “Despite the fact that many countries have lately given up death penalty such as European countries and some American states, most of the countries worldwide still enforce death penalty for dangerous crimes such as murders, kidnapping, terrorism and the like for the sake of the society’s security”. He stressed that death penalty is included in the Quran, as a way to save the lives of innocent people from killers.

Regarding replacing death penalty with payment of blood money, Al-Sharyan explained that, in some cases, it is up to the family of the victim to accept the blood money or insist on their right to ensure the perpetrator pays the price with his life. However, in cases where the entire society’s security is threatened, the family’s right for blood money does not apply because it is no longer the right of the family but the entire society’s right. A member of the Freedoms Committee at Kuwait Lawyers Society Lawyer Bader Al-Husseini supported death penalty, stressing that it does not deduct the rights of the criminals but saves the souls of the rest of the people from spread of crimes. Lawyer Ahmed Al-Attalla also supported death penalty, as it limits carelessness over taking innocent lives as *89well as the spread of drug-related crimes which negatively impact the youth of the society.

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