AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HOME BLOGS Death Penalty Information: Kuwait: man alive 5 hours after being hung Jump to main content
Main navigation
language links Español Français Arabic

Section navigation

Death Penalty Information

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Kuwait: man alive 5 hours after being hung
Sri Lankan still alive five hours after hanging in Kuwait: reports
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 29, 2006 (AFP) - A Sri Lankan national who was executed in Kuwait for murdering an Asian woman during a robbery remained alive five hours after he was hanged and pronounced dead, newspapers reported Wednesday.
Sanjaya Rowan Kumara was pronounced dead by doctors eight minutes after he was hanged but medics who transported his body to a morgue said they noticed he was still moving, Al-Qabas daily reported.
Forensic experts were immediately called to examine the body and they confirmed that "there was some weak pulse in his heart," the daily said.
The examination was repeated several times and each time "the dead body showed some signs of life," Al-Qabas quoted unnamed medical sources as saying.
"They eventually pronounced him completely dead at 1400 hours local time," five hours after his hanging, the sources said.
The justice ministry refused to comment on the report but head of the criminal execution department, Najeeb al-Mulla, who supervised the hanging, told Al-Watan newspaper the report was "baseless."
Kumara was sentenced to death by Kuwait's three courts for killing the woman while he was attempting to burgle her house. Four accomplices were sentenced to various terms in jail.
The Sri Lankan was supposed to be hanged with four others on November 21 but the public prosecutor ordered a stay of execution, an interior ministry official said at the time without elaborating.
The hanging took place at the central jail and the public were not allowed to view the body.
Kuwait has executed a total of 71 people, three of them women, since its first use of the death penalty some four decades ago. Most have been convicted murderers or drug traffickers.
The views expressed in these pages are those of individual AI campaigners or researchers, and do not necessarily reflect official AI policy.