Kuwait sentences man to death for murder of mother of two

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 06 2021 07:48 PM

A Kuwaiti court on Tuesday sentenced a man to death after convicting him of the kidnap and murder of a mother of two, a crime which shocked the wealthy emirate.

The brutal killing of Farah Hamzah Akbar, 32, whose body was dumped outside a hospital on April 20 after she was snatched in broad daylight, sparked protests and calls for justice.

"The verdict hit the nail on the head, and we hope it is backed and implemented so the family can rest," the Akbar family lawyer, Abdulmohsen al-Qattan, told AFP. 

He added that the case will now be referred to the court of appeal for review. 

The man, who had persisted in stalking Akbar despite several complaints to authorities, dragged her from a car during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 

Akbar had previously filed two harassment complaints against the man who had proposed to her although she was already married. He had been arrested but was released on bail.

The interior ministry said at the time of the murder that Akbar had been stabbed in the chest.

The attacker was arrested shortly afterwards and confessed to the crime, sparking calls for his execution. 

After the killing, some 200 people, including men, rallied to mourn the victim and demand tougher penalties for violence against women.

Kuwaiti women are pushing the boundaries of their society, considered one of the most open in the Gulf. A law against harassment exists but discussions about gender-based violence remain taboo. 

"Women in Kuwait demand protection from harassment, abuse and murder by providing them with shelters and laws that protect them," Lulwa Saleh al-Mulla, head of the Kuwaiti Women's Cultural and Social Society, told AFP following the verdict. 

"Farah's (killing) was the straw that broke the camel's back. Enough is enough."