Egypt’s most prolific executioner, Hussein Qarni, has died. Qarni was responsible for carrying out 1,070 death sentences in the North African state. He died of a heart attack and was buried in his hometown in Dakahlia Governorate, his son announced. He had spent 20 years carrying out state executions in the Prison Authority. Ashmawy, as he is better known, carried out 1,070 death sentences, 20 per cent on women, and was entered into the Guinness Book Of World Records.
In an interview in 2020, after he received the accolade, he explained: “The title of Ashmawy was applied to the executioners since 1922 until it became an adjective for that profession,” adding that people were “always terrified of my profession.”
“I’ve executed numerous public figures, one of whom was the female spy, Heba Salem, who was the main cause of the Bahr Al-Baqar primary school massacre,” he noted. The massacre took place in the Egyptian village of Bahr Al-Baqar, where the Israeli air force targeted a primary school on 8 April 1970, leaving 46 children dead and 50 others wounded. The school was completely demolished.
He stressed that because of his line of work, he had to have “no emotions”.
Ashmawy was born in 1947 in Egypt’s fifth largest province of Tanta and served in the Egyptian military until 1967.