B’deshi rape convict begs mercy from Nepali victim

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KUWAIT, APR 09 – To save one of its nationals from death penalty on conviction of raping a Nepali woman in Kuwait, the Bangladesh government has sought Nepal’s assistance in identifying the victim to make restitution offer to her in exchange for the man’s life.

Salhalum Hussain, who was accused of raping the woman in 2009, was convicted by a Kuwaiti court in 2011 and sentenced him to death by hanging. After Hussain’s appeal to reduce the severity of the punishment was denied by Kuwait’s top court, his family has been trying to find the woman who has since returned to Nepal.

Gomadevi Dhakal Poudel, the labour attaché at the Nepali Embassy in Kuwait, said the Bangladesh embassy has forwarded a letter stating that Hussain’s family has begged for the woman’s pardon and offered her 2,500 Kuwaiti dinar (approximately Rs 850,000).

The woman’s final say over the matter, whether she will accept the offer and pardon her rapist, is the only hope for Hussain because the Kuwaiti law has a provision where a death row convict could be pardoned by victim.

The Nepali embassy has sent the details obtained from the woman’s passport record to the Foreign Ministry back home with a request to locate her, Poudel said.

“The Bangladeshi embassy has been contacting us regularly with regards to the matter but we have been unable to respond officially as we are yet to identify the victim.”