BEIRUT, Lebanon — Job seekers in Saudi Arabia who have a strong constitution and endorse strict Islamic law might consider new opportunities carrying out public beheadings and amputating the hands of convicted thieves.
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.
Although the law also mandates that thieves in some cases have their hands cut off, that punishment is rarely carried out because judges consider it distasteful, according to Saudi lawyers.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia beheaded a man for a drug offense, making him the 85th person to be executed this year, according to a count by Human Rights Watch based on Saudi government statements. That is almost as many people as the country executed in all of last year, when 88 people were beheaded. Thirty-eight of this year’s executions, including the one on Sunday, were for drug-related crimes with no allegations of violence, according to Adam Coogle, a researcher with Human Rights Watch.