Information Law

Capital Punishment
 in Kuwait

There has been a lot of debate about the pros and cons of capital punishment in the past few days which is why I wanted to take the time to explain capital punishment in the Kuwaiti law.

What is the procedure before getting capital punishment?

So an accused gets three trials, when he gets a guilty verdict in a trial he HAS to appeal. If he doesn’t appeal then the public prosecution will appeal the case. Before being sentenced with capital punishment an accused has to be proven guilty three times in three different trials made up of different judges. After three different guilty verdicts, the accused get sentenced to capital punishment. But, even then, capital punishment would not be executed unless the highest authority signs off on the sentence.

Who is exempted from capital punishment?

What are the crimes that you would get capital punishment for?

The below apply to everyone, Kuwaiti or non Kuwaiti, visa or no visa, pretty or ugly… as long as you committed the crime in Kuwait.

– Murder, deliberate + premeditated by il will (Article 150 with a def in Article 151)

– Any person that kidnaps another person using force or threat or with the intent to kill, hurt or rape (Article 180)

– Sexual intercourse with a female without her consent and the accused was related to the girl, or was her teacher, her caretaker or her servant. (Article 186)

– Sexual intercourse with a female with her consent but the female is not mentally stable and the accused knew this or if the girl was under 15 years of age. In both cases the accused was related to the girl, or was her teacher, her caretaker or her servant. (Article 187)

– Capital punishment found in other Kuwaiti laws
 like national security crimes (treason for example)

– For growing, selling, buying or importing or exporting drugs the accused might get capital punishment. But, if you add any of the following points as well then the accused will get capital punishment:

1) The drug is cocaine, heroine, Acetyldihydrocodeine and Codeine

2) You’re a public employee
3) Used a minor to help with the drug crime

4) Its the accused 2nd time convicted of either growing, selling, buying or importing or exporting drugs

The above is based on the Kuwaiti law and not my opinion. If there is anything that isn’t clear leave a comment below and I will try to clarify it.

Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at [email protected]

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.

64 replies on “Capital Punishment
 in Kuwait”

Thank you Fajer – good posting. You’d be surprised to know that most expats don’t understand the laws in Kuwait, especially the driving laws.

Hey man, I’m Kuwaiti and I was surprised about a few procedures I never heard about. Makes one wonder what else he doesnt know.

Thank you for the good work Fajer, keep it up!

Another tired “expats are the problem with driving in Kuwait” post??? Please! Kuwaiti drivers are without a doubt the worst drivers of the 44 countries I’ve been to. Glued to their phone, ramming up behind other drivers, swerving in and out of traffic, speeding excessively, ect…

I am going to try and explain this in a simple way. For any act, a crime or not, if it causes another person a burden or pain or anything like that then this person can file a civil action and ask for compensation. Wait again. Let’s say I got hit and my hand broke, and this person intended to hit me. Then after the verdict is over and he is proven a criminal I can take it to a civil court and ask to be compensated for my hand. So manslaughter or not the families can ask for compensation. Now the Kuwaiti law even has a table with body parts and their worth in civil action. If mark agrees I might post it up here. Hope that helps.

Ah ok, that’s interesting. But you still suffer the punishment, it’s just another punishment on top?

Fajer, if the family forgives (with or without money) will the criminal still be executed? I’m talking about murder (you don’t get the death penalty for manslaughter anyways).

Interesting post.. But how often do they excute convicts with capital punishment?
And have they applied it on both Kuwaitis and non Kuwaitis?

Excellent post but 3 questions:
1. “accused was related to the girl, or was her teacher, her caretaker or her servant”

do you mean that they will get capital punishment only if it is one of these situations?

2. Excepted from capital punishment if woman is pregnant and gives birth to a healthy baby.

From what i understood is that if the baby is born healthy than the woman spends the rest of her life in jail if she was pregnant during the crime. What if the baby god forbids was not well and has a disability, what is the situation in that case?

3. “But, even then, capital punishment would not be executed unless the highest authority signs off on the sentence.”

In this case only the Amir of Kuwait can approve capital punishment?

Excellent posts and keep them coming 🙂

I believe the answer to question #1 is because you would trust that man to enter your home. This opinion is based on the fact that if a house servant steals, he/she will probably get a stronger form of punishment (again, because you would trust them in your home), and if its done by someone you never knew, it will be a more lenient one.

the answer to your question 2..

the post says deliver the baby safely.. there is no mention of a healthy/ unhealthy baby.

answer to Question 3…

if I’m not wrong… all the capital punishments needs the signature of the highest authority.. who, in Kuwait case is, the Amir of Kuwait.

1- yes if he wasn’t in these situations than he will get life imprisonment.
2-the baby needs to be born alive. There’s no mention on what happens in this situations. Three females in the past have got a sentence of capital punishment and non of them were pregnant, so there is no precedent.
3-yes, exactly.
Thank you.

so , if a woman wants to plan a murder and not get excuted for it. she can get pragnant, wait until she is on 7th or 8th month, then commit her crime. then she will get life in prison? correct?

I seem to remember a while back some Kuwaiti insulted the prophet on twitter and there was talk of death penalty. I can’t remember all the facts, but it seemed they were debating a new law just for him.

I hope people will look at what Morsi is doing in Egypt and realize we don’t want the same thing here

there is still harsh punishments for rape, the accused can get sentenced for life.
but i think, and i can not know the intentions of a legislator for sure, but because these are people that you would trust your child with.

Good Evening Fajer

You advised that someone will get the death penalty if they import codeine.

Codeine is commonly added to paracetamol or ibuprofen in the UK for painkillers and can be bought in all chemists without a doctors prescription.

If someone from the UK brings in painkillers they had bought for their personal use, what would the legal consequences be? Surely not execution for an innocent error.

I’m pretty sure this becomes an issue of intent. Someone who imports the drug for personal use, likely does not have the intent to import for the purpose of distribution (which I’m guessing is what the law intends to prohibit). Action and intent are two separate issues that must be taken into consideration.

After reading this post, I really dont know what to say. But I believe I know at least 5 government employees that I suspect of having smoked weed in the past (because I can tell), crazy to know that such a small action like someone who works for ministry of communication and have puffed a joint will get capital punishment like death. the laws are crazy in kuwait maybe because its still a young country and not mature enough with the law and jurisdiction systems.

I dont think smoking weed will get you capital punishment, I think selling and carrying large amounts will.

So according to Kuwaiti Penal law/ criminal law (what is it called in Kuwait btw?), based on the following FACTS:
1-two separate crimes where commited with the exact same circumstances excluding the fact that the accused in the first was not pregnant(A) and the accused in the second was(B) & the baby was later n delivered safely.
2-(A) was sentenced to capital punishment.

(B) could not be sentenced to capital punishment?

according to emirati law (B) could be sentenced to death penalty, but the penalty will not be applied until two years have passed from the birth of the baby.

would love to know if such a difference exists between these two laws.

Hi Fajer. I love what you’re doing to Mark’s blog and I hope you continue giving us valuable info on the kuwaiti law. That said, it is important to add that the kuwaiti law punishes arsonists by death. To explain more, any person who burns down residence with the knowledge that someone might be in that residence will be punished by death. I remind you of that lady that burnt down a wedding tent in Jahra a couple of years ago…she got the death sentence for the exact violation of that article in the kuwaiti criminal law.

Assalamulaykom Mr. Fajer,

Good Day!

I am one of the hundred thousand people here Kuwait working as a secretary of Recruiting Agency for Housemaid before. I want know about regarding my problems with my Manager acting like my employer also.

I finish my more than 2 years working with them and i resign. i find another job in Hotel. but before that my manager ask me to go to Sho-On and ask me to sign the papers their, that paper with out my knowledge it is a cancellation of my Visa 18. i did not know it was the cancellation of my visa 18 here, and when i found out it is a cancellation its to late because the day they cancel my visa 18 they change it to visa 14 as a tuorist visa here in kuwait and giving me one month to stay.

and they filled me an Absconding Case as a Run Away employee. Sir my manager is a Bangladesh who are the one to cancel my visa 18 and filed me absconding case. but true employer is that i want to go home in the philippines, i cannot because i have a case filed in immigration.

my question is, do i have the rights to travel with out going to jail. i already take my case to Philippine Embassy my Passport and my Open Date Ticket is with already. i only want to travel to philippine sir. and what rights i have to defend myself on this situation i have sir?

i ask my manager to cancel my case but he refuse me even if how many times i beg them.

Thank you and More Power.
Hoping you will responds me with this email sir. thank you again.

I want to know if one of the staff in our admin office make purge my signature for my application of working permit. Can I charge him a case


Dear Sir,
One house driver was caught with few bottles of locally made liquor and few grams of drugs from Kuwaiti house.
His family is begging to know about the capital punishment of this crime.
Could you please advice them.

Hello good pm I want to ask about the problem of my friend shes a house maid she going out at night to meet her bf but her employer didn’t know it one time someone see what she doing now her employer take her phone and see the pictures of her and her boyfriend now her employer say they will give her a case is it a case

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