These haunting images show the last moments of two condemned criminals immediately before they were executed in Kuwait for crimes which have shocked the nation. Ahmad Abdulsalam al-Baili and Hajjaj Saadi were both hanged today on a gallows set up in a car park outside the country’s main prison. Saadi, 33, was executed for abducting and raping 18 young children, while Baili had been convicted of murdering an Asian couple.
International human rights campaigners had called for the death sentences of the two men, who are both Egyptian, to be commuted. The men had provoked widespread revulsion within Kuwait – Saadi became known as the ‘Hawalli Beast’ after the district where he carried out his crimes.
He lured 18 boys and girls under the age of 10 onto rooftops in the area before raping them, according to the authorities. Saadi was arrested in July 2007 as he was about to board a flight to his homeland, and confessed to the rapes – but he later claimed the confession had been made under duress. He has also complained that he was not given consular assistance by the Egyptian embassy ahead of his execution.
Baili was sentenced to death after killing an Asian couple in April 2008 by pouring fuel into their flat and setting it on fire. He later tried to do the same with an Egyptian couple, but they survived the attack. The men were hanged around 8am today in the presence of the public prosecutor and other legal authorities.
Kuwait only recently reimposed the death penalty after a six-year moratorium on executions. The first set of prisoners to be hanged in April were three convicted murderers, none of whom was a Kuwaiti citizen. There are believed to be 46 people currently on death row in the oil-rich Gulf state.