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Nasra Yussef Mohammed AL-ENEZI

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


The 2009 Kuwait wedding fire
 
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Revenge - Starting a fire at wedding celebrations in which her husband was taking a second wife
Number of victims: 58
Date of murders: August 15, 2009
Date of arrest: Next day
Date of birth: 1986
Victims profile: Women and children
Method of murder: Fire
Location: Al Jahra, Kuwait
Status: Sentenced to death on March 30, 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The 2009 Kuwait wedding fire was an arson attack that occurred during a wedding ceremony in Jahra, Kuwait on August 15, 2009.

At least 57 people were killed and about 90 others wounded when the groom's 23-year-old ex-wife, Nasra Yussef Mohammad al-Enezi, to take revenge for her husband's second marriage, poured petrol on a tent where women and children were celebrating and set it on fire. Within three minutes the whole tent, which had only one exit and did not meet fire safety regulations, was engulfed in flames, trapping many inside. It was the deadliest civilian disaster in Kuwait in the last 40 years.

There was only one exit. It had been claimed that the temperature inside the tent was above 500 degrees Celsius (930 F). Although al-Enezi recanted a confession she had given to police after her arrest, stating in court she had only sprayed the tent with cursed water, but did not set it on fire, she was found guilty of premeditated murder and starting a fire with the intent to kill and sentenced to death on March 30, 2010.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Debate continues in Kuwait over woman's death sentence

By Khaled al-Shamari - Al-shorfa.com

June 25, 2011

A case involving a Kuwaiti woman who received a death sentence for her role in a tent fire that led to 58 deaths has triggered intense debate in the country.

Some Kuwaitis hoped the ruling would be reduced to a life sentence while others considered the death penalty a fair punishment.

On June 12th, the Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court's decision to execute the woman. The decision marked the first time in Kuwait's history that the highest court upheld a death sentence for a woman.

Nasra Yousef Al Enezi, 24, was accused of setting a tent on fire in August 2009 during the wedding of her husband, Zayed Zafiri, 36. The incident led to the death of 58 women and children and injured 30 others. The husband was celebrating his second marriage. Neither the husband nor the second wife were in the tent when the incident occurred. The event was held in Al Jahra province, north of Kuwait City.

Al Enezi and Zafiri have two children, Shaqha, 5, and Muhammad, 3.

Defence attorney Zaid al-Khabbaz hoped the sentence would be reduced to life imprisonment. He told Al-Shorfa the court "did not listen to the defence from the beginning so the verdict was decided in advance".

He criticised the handling of the case from the beginning which started as "an ordinary criminal case and became a case of public opinion with interference from political interests, which led to the issuance of a death sentence".

Al-Khabbaz ruled out the possibility that the victims' families would give up their right to retribution "because of the great pressures exerted on them". He hoped for "the humanity of the country's emir to commute the death sentence".

If the victims' families surrendered their right to retribution, the case would be waived and the defendant would pay a fee to the victims' families at the court's determination.

Since the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah assumed power, he has not ratified a death sentence as the penalties were commuted to life imprisonment.

This was the second time a Kuwaiti woman received a death sentence. The first was issued by the Criminal Court on March 21, 2005 when a woman was accused of drug trafficking. The Court of Appeals reduced the sentence to 15 years in prison, and the Supreme Court upheld the decision on January 30, 2007.

Dr. Abdul Wahab Zafiri, head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Kuwait, said, "The issue from the beginning was very tragic. This disaster has many victims."

He added, "I do not mean only those who died but also those who were injured or who witnessed the tragedy and were psychologically affected to a large degree, which may prevent them from attending such events again."

He said the tragedy occurred because of the failure to provide solutions to current social problems, notably polygamy, the lack of respect for women and appreciation for the role they play in society. It has become easy for any man to marry another woman without clear justification.

Zafiri said he personally opposes the death penalty and was sympathetic with the accused and with the victims' families.

He said, "The circumstances surrounding the accused pushed her to act in this manner. As for the victims' families, no one can blame them for not waiving their right to retribution. Some of them might even view death as insufficient for the torment of losing their loved ones."

Khidr al-Baroon, a professor of psychology at the University of Kuwait, believed compassion could be offered to the families of the victims and to the accused.

Al-Baroon said, "In view of her young age and lack of experience, she lost control when she felt intense jealousy and experienced the trauma of her husband marrying another woman." He hoped that the emir would reduce the punishment.

Najla al-Naqi, a lawyer in the government's Department of Fatwa and Legislation, supported the death sentence on the grounds that it would be "the best deterrent to any woman thinking of committing such an act".

She told Al-Shorfa, "It is not reasonable for the victims' families to waive their right (of retribution), especially since many families lost mothers and daughters."

Kuwaiti citizens were divided about the court's ruling.

Engineer Saleh al-Harbi, 45, considered the death sentence fair and wished it would be implemented quickly. He said, "It does not make sense for a woman, lured by the devil to kill 58 human beings, to stay alive."

Najah Al Ajmi, 50, a teacher, suggested following Europe's example of abolishing the death penalty. She expected the death sentence would be commuted to life imprisonment.

 
 

Kuwait wife sentenced to death for fatal wedding fire

BBC.co.uk

March 30, 2010

A court in Kuwait has sentenced a 23-year-old woman to death for starting a fire at wedding celebrations in which her husband was taking a second wife.

Some 57 women and children were killed in the incident in al-Jahra in August, making it one of the worst civilian disasters in Kuwait's modern history.

The judge found the woman, Nasra Yussef Mohammed al-Enezi, guilty of premeditated murder.

She denied the charges and her lawyers say they will appeal.

Death sentences in Kuwait are carried out by hanging.

Enezi, who was not present in court for the verdict, was found guilty of "premeditated murder and starting a fire with the intent to kill".

Press reports at the time of the blaze said she had wanted to avenge her husband's "bad treatment" of her, but in court she denied any involvement in the incident.

The victims were all women and children because wedding celebrations are traditionally segregated along gender lines.

Ninety guests were injured in the blaze and the ensuing stampede to get out of the tent, which only had one exit.

Kuwait banned wedding tents after the incident.

 
 

Kuwaiti woman denies starting deadly fire at wedding

By Omar Hasan (AFP)

October 27, 2009

KUWAIT CITY A Kuwaiti woman denied in court on Tuesday causing a blaze that killed 55 women and children by setting light to a tent at a wedding party after the man she had married took another wife.

Nasra Yussef Mohammad al-Enezi, whose lawyers say she is still married to the man, simply replied "no" when Judge Adel al-Sager asked her if she had set the crowded tent on fire and killed the people.

It was the only word the 23-year-old spoke during the brief hearing, which opened her murder trial.

The August 15 inferno engulfed the women-and-children-only tent in just minutes and triggered a panicked stampede.

Nasra was brought to the small courtroom from the central prison, accompanied by five female guards. Pale and looking frail, she was allowed to sit outside the dock, which is not usual for defendants that are in custody.

She initially refused to speak after two female guards had helped her to the judge's rostrum.

Dressed in a long grey dress, the young woman had entered the court with her face fully covered.

But when she approached the judge, guards removed the cover revealing her stunned face. She refused to answer questions by the judge, who ordered guards to give her water and told her to sit.

The judge then proceeded with other cases. At the judge's second attempt to ask her plea, she denied the charges.

Her three lawyers called for her release pending the full trial and accused prison officials of mistreating her.

Defence lawyers alleged that Nasra was two-months pregnant when arrested and was "deliberately aborted" by a prison guard with the help of an Asian nurse.

Lawyer Khaled al-Awadhi told reporters the prison guard is a relative of Nasra's husband and has since been transferred from the prison.

Lawyer Saqqaf al-Saqqaf told AFP he believes Nasra was made to take drugs, passed off as tranquilisers, that immediately caused her abortion.

Prison officials failed to send her to the hospital for examination of what caused the abortion, he said.

Saqqaf added that under Kuwaiti law, death sentences for pregnant women are automatically commuted to life imprisonment. "Perhaps this is the reason why they aborted her," he said.

The three lawyers demanded that Nasra be examined by a doctor to establish how she lost her baby and when.

The prosecutor presented no arguments during the hearing, but lawyer Zaid al-Khabbaz told reporters the woman is charged with "premeditated murder and starting a fire with the intent to kill."

The judge rejected all the defence petitions and set November 17 for the next session, to hear defence arguments.

Nasra was arrested on August 16, a day after 41 women and children died in a fire at a wedding tent in Jahra, west of Kuwait City. The death toll later rose to 55, according to the interior ministry.

She was initially believed to be the groom's ex-wife, but her defence lawyers say that she is still his wife. Men are allowed to have more than one wife in this Muslim Gulf state.

Nasra and the man have two children, both of whom are mentally handicapped.

 
 

Kuwait wedding blaze death toll rises to 55

By Andy Sambidge - ArabianBusiness.com

October 18, 2009

The number of deaths related to wedding tent fire in Jahra, Kuwait in August has increased to 55, an official said on Sunday.

In a statement to KUNA News Agency, the Interior Ministry's spokesman Colonel Mohammad Al-Sabr said one further person had succumbed to their injuries sustained in the blaze, which was started deliberately.

He expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the recently deceased.

There were around 80 people injured in the fire, which occurred on August 15. They were mostly women and children.

The fire gutted a wedding tent in the district of Al-Jahra, north of the capital.

In August, the Kuwait Fire Service Department's (KFSD) final report on the fire highlighted a number of "gross errors".

It also confirmed that the cause of the fire that led to the deaths earlier this month was arson.

The report emphasised the importance of enforcing the requirement for obtaining licences for events held in marquees for any purpose to avoid such tragedies from occurring in the future.

The report said that investigations conducted by KFSD experts at the scene of the blaze concluded that the fire was deliberately started, with evidence of flammable substances discovered there.

The KFSD's report also listed a number of errors in the marquee's layout and supplies that worsened the situation, such as the lack of more than one entrance, the presence of large amounts of inflammable items and overcrowding.

The report proposed that a number of measures be introduced to prevent such horrific events from recurring, such as banning the holding of weddings in unlicensed tents.

 
 

Ex-wife admits Kuwait wedding arson

Groom's former wife admits to setting wedding tent ablaze, killing 43 women and children

Aljazeera.com

August 20, 2009

The ex-wife of a groom at a Kuwaiti wedding party has admitted starting a blaze that engulfed a tent, killing 43 women and children.

The 23-year-old told police she poured petrol around the packed wedding tent and set it on fire to avenge her ex-husband's "bad 'treatment" of her before their divorce, Kuwait's Al-Qabas newspaper said on Monday.

Colonel Mohammad al-Saber, an interior ministry spokesman, said: "We have identified the perpetrator who confessed to committing the crime for personal reasons."

He told Kuwaiti television the fire engulfed the tent in just three minutes.

The bride escaped injured, but her mother and sister were killed.

Petrol blaze

Al-Qabas said the woman's maid had told police she saw her employer pouring petrol around the large women-only tent in the town of Jahra before the blaze started on Saturday night.

Ninety other people were injured in the inferno, which was the deadliest civilian disaster in the modern history of the Gulf state.

Most of the bodies were charred beyond recognition and forensics specialists were working to identify the victims, officials said.

Sixteen of the dead were buried on Sunday.

Five people remain in critical condition with severe burns. At least seven of the dead were children.

Medical officials have said that specialised medical teams from Germany and Britain were coming to Kuwait to treat the injured.

The government of the oil-rich state has formed a high-level committee to investigate the incident after sharp criticism by politicians that authorities were too slow in the rescue operations.

Investigation demanded

A number of MPs have demanded a probe into why authorities failed to apply strict safety and security rules for wedding tents.

The interior ministry has advised citizens against setting up tents in residential areas as they could obstruct any rescue operations.

Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah expressed deep sympathy with the families of the victims and said he will not accept greetings on the occasion of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, expected to start this weekend.

Several MPs have called on the government to declare a state of national mourning.

Last year, two women died and several others were wounded in a similar incident in Jahra, 50km west of the capital Kuwait City.

Most wedding parties in the conservative Muslim Gulf state are segregated in line with local tradition.

 
 

Ex-wife blamed for Kuwait inferno

BBC.co.uk

August 17, 2009

Kuwaiti police investigating a deadly blaze at a wedding tent that killed 43 women and children say the ex-wife of the groom has confessed to starting it.

The tent was consumed by flames in seconds in the worst civilian disaster in Kuwait's modern history.

Fire service officials said the tent had only one exit and did not meet fire safety regulations.

Media reports say the woman told police she had wanted to avenge ill-treatment by her husband before their divorce.

Later the Ministry of the Interior, quoted by the official news agency Kuna, announced that one person had been arrested on suspicion of causing Saturday's fire, but no further details were given.

Bride escaped

Earlier on Monday the Qabas newspaper said the 23-year-old ex-wife of the groom had told police she used petrol to set fire to the packed and highly inflammable wedding tent

The victims were all women and children because traditionally wedding celebrations are segregated along gender lines.

The Kuwait Times newspaper reported that the groom's new bride had escaped injury but that her mother and a sister had died.

Some local newspapers have criticised the government over the blaze, which happened in the town of Jahra, saying its handling revealed failures in disaster response planning.

MPs criticised the lax official reaction to unlicensed tents being erected in residential areas despite the implicit safety risks.

Most of the bodies were burned beyond immediate recognition, police said, and forensic officials were now working to identify the victims.

Ninety guests were injured in the blaze and ensuing stampede, and five burns victims are in a critical condition, medical officials say.

 
 

Dozens die in Kuwait wedding fire

BBC.co.uk

August 16, 2009

Forty-one women and children have died after a fire broke out in a tent at a wedding near Kuwait City.

Guests were trampled in the stampede towards the only exit, as the tent was razed in just three minutes, a fire department chief told AP news agency.

Six of the dead were children. Up to 60 women and children were also injured in the tragedy on Saturday evening in the al-Jahra area, west of the capital.

The cause of the blaze is unknown. It is not clear if the bride escaped.

Wedding celebrations in the conservative Gulf state are held separately for men and women. Children attend the women's party.

Four teams of fire-fighters were dispatched to the scene, about 50km (30 miles) west of the capital, as well as a large number of ambulances.

Officials said the authorities had had difficulty evacuating the injured because of the large numbers of anxious relatives at the scene.

The country's ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, extended his condolences to the families of the victims.

Fire department chief Brig Gen Jassem al-Mansouri told AP news agency the authorities would have to carry out DNA tests to identify the victims.

"It was a horrific scene with bodies and many shoes stuck to the ground at the only exit. They must have trampled over one another," he said.

Interior ministry spokesman Col Mohammed al-Saber confirmed to Reuters news agency that the tent, which could seat more than 200 people, had only one exit.

Investigators are trying to establish what sparked the blaze, with faulty electrical wiring, or coals used for burning incense, among possible causes, according to reports.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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