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Two Egyptians hanged for murdering toddler

Published Dec 12, 2006

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Qena, Egypt - Two Egyptians were hanged on Tuesday for beating and electrocuting to death a toddler whose cries were spoiling their televised football game, security sources said.

Hosni Ramadan Mahmud Ahmed, a 19-year-old shoe-shiner and his friend Ramadan Abu al-Magd Azab, a waiter, were hanged in the southern city of Qena after losing an appeal in their trial for the murder of Ahmed's two-year-old step-daughter, Zeinab Naggar Tawan.

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In the summer of 2002, Ahmed was left to look after the toddler after her mother stormed out of the house following an argument.

Apparently infuriated that the crying baby was disrupting their viewing of a football match on television, Ahmed smashed the two year old's head against a wall and electrocuted her.

The two men then dumped her body in a nearby school.

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In Egypt, crimes punishable by death include terrorism related crimes, premeditated murder, rape and drug related offences.

There are no reliable figures on the death penalty in Egypt but according to the latest government report, between 25 and 50 executions were carried out each year between 1999 and 2003.

According to Amnesty International, 382 death sentences were recorded between 1996 and 2001. However, the organisation believes the actual number to be much higher.

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Human rights groups have actively campaigned against the death penalty in Egypt, which they say has a long history of unfair trials.

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