Murder of Kuwaiti woman by man on bail sparks uproar

Police rearrest man who they say fatally stabbed a woman while on bail

Kuwaiti police stand guard in the al-Safat square in Kuwait City on May 27, 2011 prior to a protest demanding the oil-rich Gulf state's Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah resign. AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
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The murder of a Kuwaiti woman who was kidnapped and stabbed in the heart before being left bleeding outside a hospital sparked outrage across the country.

Police in Kuwait rearrested a man they said fatally stabbed Farah Hamza Akbar in the Mubarak Al Kabber Governorate after his release on bail for a related offence, the interior ministry said.

She was grabbed from her car on a motorway before being stabbed. Her body was found outside a hospital in the south of Kuwait city.

The suspect, who was not identified, was reportedly first detained on harassment charges brought by Akbar’s family before his release on bail.

"Authorities arrested the perpetrator of the crime, in record time, after he kidnapped a female citizen from her vehicle and took her to an unknown destination," the Interior Ministry said.

“He admitted to stabbing her in the chest, which was the cause of death,” the ministry said.

Videos on social media showed a woman purported to be Akbar's sister screaming that she had informed authorities of the danger the man posed to her family.

“I told you again and again he would kill her, and now she’s dead,” she said.

“Who can help me? Where is the government? We told the judge. I am asking for my rights. I told you many times he would kill her,” said the visibly distraught sister.

After her death was announced, Farah Hamza Akbar’s name became one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter in Kuwait.

Social media users demanded stricter laws to protect women, while some called for the death penalty for murderers.

Kuwait's legal code is criticised by activists who say such killings are common in the country despite years of calls for reforms.

For instance, a man who catches his wife or sister committing adultery and kills her would face a maximum of three years in prison for what is classified as a misdemeanour.

Last August, Kuwait passed its first law designed to specifically target domestic violence.

The legislation, drafted by the Women and Family Committee, will “set the minimum standard and legal protection procedures for victims of domestic violence, in a way that maintains the family unity without threatening its stability in the society”, it said.

Volunteer group Eithar, which has been lobbying for a specific law against domestic violence for four years, said the new law will provide legal cover for survivors.