Finding a new job online has become a standard practice in recent times, but on Monday Saudi Arabia brought the quest for finding suitable candidates to a surreal level after the Ministry of Civil Service’s website announced job openings for eight executioners.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which carries out capital punishments by beheading, most of them in public, with an audience. The executioner will have to perform his duty quite often, as the 85th execution of the current year was just carried out on Sunday, a figure which almost equals last year’s total in the oil-rich Kingdom.
“The eight positions, as advertised on the website of the Ministry of Civil Service, require no specific skills or educational background for ‘carrying out the death sentence according to Islamic Shariah after it is ordered by a legal ruling. But given the grisly nature of the job, a scarcity of qualified swordsmen in some regions of the country and a rise in the frequency of executions, candidates might face a heavy workload,’ said the message posted on the website, according to the New York Times.
Saudi Arabia has been under fire for its use of capital and other corporal punishment.
Saudi authorities have not explained why the number of executions have increased so quickly, but experts have speculated it might be because more judges have been appointed, a step which allows a backlog of cases to be heard.
An online application form can be downloaded for the executioner jobs and is available on the website since Monday. The jobs are classified as “religious functionaries” and those who will be hired would be at the lower end of the civil service pay scale.
A Saudi newspaper announced a ministerial committee is considering formally dropping public beheading as a way of execution in the kingdom mostly because it can’t find enough swordsmen. The beheading often takes place in a public square and is carried out by a man.
A government committee is trying to argue that a change from beheading to execution by firing squad could be accepted under the laws of Islam, the Saudi daily newspaper al-Youm announced a few weeks ago.
“This solution seems practical, especially in light of shortages in official swordsmen or their belated arrival to execution yards in some incidents,” the committee explained in a statement.
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