Tags: Saudi Arabia | Executioners | pay | amputations

Saudi Arabia Advertises for Eight Executioners

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 05:06 PM

Saudi Arabia is advertising for eight new executioners.

The job requires little skill, The Guardian reports, the official job title is "religious functionary" and the pay is low — about the same as a low-ranking civil servant.

Along with publicly lopping off heads with the traditional razor-sharp scimitar, the executioner is also responsible for performing amputations of arms and legs on perpetrators convicted of crimes lesser than those that require the death penalty.

According to the job posting, though, the main function is "executing a judgment of death," Reuters reports.

So far this year, Saudi Arabia has executed 85 people as of Sunday, with the death of a Pakistani, as compared to 88 in all of 2014. About half of those executed have been Saudis, but others came from Yemen, Syria, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Burma, Chad, Eritrea, the Philippines, and Sudan, The Guardian reports.

Most were murderers, but 38 were sentenced for drug crimes. Under Saudi Arabia's strict sharia law, the death sentence can be handed down for rape, apostasy, and armed robbery, the Express Tribune reports.

For example, the Pakistani executed Sunday in Jeddah, Iftikhar Ahmed Mohammed Anayat, is said to have been smuggling drugs into Saudi Arabia, RT News reports.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director for Human Rights Watch (HRW), said, "Any execution is appalling, but executions for crimes such as drug smuggling or sorcery that result in no loss of life are particularly egregious. There is simply no excuse for Saudi Arabia’s continued use of the death penalty, especially for these types of crimes."

In 2014, Saudi Arabia ranked third in the world in the number of executions, right behind China, and Iran and ahead of Iraq and the U.S., according to Amnesty International, Reuters notes.

HRW comments that death sentences also may be handed down for adultery and sorcery.

"The current surge in executions in Saudi Arabia is yet another dark stain on the kingdom’s human rights record," Whitson said.

Political analysts speculate that Saudi Arabia's increase in executions may have come about through the appointment of more judges and judicial crackdowns because of unrest and turbulence in the area, Reuters notes.

At least the job isn't stressful, according to one Saudi executioner, Mohammed Saad al-Beshi, who told Arab News in 2003, "I sleep very well. It doesn't matter to me, two, four, 10. As long as I'm doing God's work, it doesn't matter how many people I execute," the BBC reported.

Story continues below video.

Meanwhile, the Saudis are seeking to chair the United National Human Rights Council, Arutz Sheva reports.

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Saudi Arabia is advertising for eight new executioners. The job requires little skill, The Guardian reports, the official job title is religious functionary and the pay is low - about the same as a low-ranking civil servant.
Saudi Arabia, Executioners, pay, amputations
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2015-06-18
Monday, 18 May 2015 05:06 PM
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