Tue, 22 Jun 2021

Swordsmen needed in Saudi Arabia to carry out beheadings

Kolkata News
20 May 2015, 11:54 GMT+10

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia is in need of at least eight new executioners to carry out death sentences, usually done by public beheading.

The advertisement for grisly job openings was posted online on the website of the ministry of civil service.

The online posting seeks no special qualifications or skills from aspiring candidates whose main role is "executing a judgment of death according to Islamic Shariah after it is ordered by a legal ruling".

The profile also involves performing amputations on those convicted of lesser offences, the advert said.

The justice system in the kingdom governed by strict Islamic code punishes drug dealing, arms smuggling, and murder and other violent crimes with death, usually by beheading in a public square.

An application form for the advertised executioner jobs classified the opportunities as "religious functionaries" and that they would be at the lower end of the civil service pay scale.

Saudi Arabia ranks among the top five countries in the world for putting people to death, according to rights groups.

Amnesty International ranked the kingdom third in 2014, after China and Iran, and ahead of Iraq and the United States.

On Sunday, the authorities in Saudi Arabia carried out the 85th execution this year when a man was beheaded for a drug offense, according to a count by the Human Rights Watch based on Saudi government statements.

Last year 88 people were executed in Saudi. About half were Saudi and the others were from Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Burma, Chad, Eritrea, the Philippines and Sudan.

Though there has been no specified reason to justify the increasing number of executions in rapid pace, diplomats have speculated it may be because more judges have been appointed, allowing a backlog of appeal cases to be heard.

Adam Coogle, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, said that 38 of this year's executions, including the one on Sunday, were for drug-related crimes with no allegations of violence.

In the United States, 35 prisoners were executed in 2014.

In some Saudi provinces, the job of swordsman is passed down from father to son.

In Qassim Province, north of the capital, Riyadh, the primary swordsman works full time as a guard for the region's prince and carries out executions on the side, earning a bonus of more than $1,000 per head, local government officials who know him, were cited by The New York Times as saying.

More Kolkata News

Access More

Sign up for Kolkata News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!