Saudi Arabia beheading so many prisoners it will need more executioners as Kingdom is tipped to set new slaughter record
THE ruthless Saudi government is beheading so many people it needs to recruit a deadly new squad of sword-wielding executioners.
The news comes after it slaughtered 37 people in one bloody day last week meaning it is now tipped to kill a record number of its citizens in 2019.
The Sharia law-run state has advertised for eight new executioners to handle the projected rise in brutal public beheadings.
No special qualifications are needed for the jobs whose main role is “executing a judgement of death” but also involves performing amputations on those convicted of lesser offences.
The macabre job advert was reportedly posted on the country's civil service jobs portal.
Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest rates of execution: suspects convicted of terrorism, homicide, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking face the death penalty.
It has carried out nearly 600 executions since the start of 2014, more than a third of them in drug cases.
More than 140 people were put to death in the kingdom last year, where convicts are usually beheaded using a huge curved sword.
Public beheadings will typically take place around 9am when the convicted person is walked into a square and made to kneel in front of the executioner.
The executioner uses a sword known as a sulthan to remove the condemned person's head from his or her body at the neck.
Statisticians have now projected more than 170 will be put to the sword this year – a record for modern times.
Rights groups began documenting execution numbers in the early 2000s and the figures have been trending upwards.
Last Tuesday one prisoner was crucified and another had his head impaled on a spike during dozens of sickening executions held over one day in the ruthless kingdom.
Those killed during the beheading bloodbath had all been convicted of "terrorism offences" in the hardline desert country.
The killings were carried out in Riyadh, the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, central Qassim province and Eastern Province, home to the country's Shiite minority.
Saudi authorities later revealed one person was crucified after his execution – a punishment reserved for what are deemed very serious offences.
It also publicly placed the executed body and severed head of a convicted Sunni extremist on a spike as a warning to others.
Law-makers said the men were charged with "adopting terrorist extremist ideology, forming terrorist cells" and harming the "peace and security of society".
One of the men executed was just 16 at the time of his arrest, according to Amnesty International.
Those executed had been involved in attacking a base killing a number of security officers, the Saudi Press Agency statement said.
Amnesty International said they were convicted "after sham trials" that relied on confessions extracted through torture.
It marked the largest number of executions in a single day in Saudi Arabia since January 2, 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people for terrorism-related crimes.
Among those slaughtered was Abdulkarim al-Hawaj, 21, just a schoolboy when he was detained and accused of being a "terrorist" for sending texts online about an anti-government demonstration.
The Interior Ministry's statement said those executed had adopted extremist ideologies and formed terrorist cells with the aim of spreading chaos and provoking sectarian strife.
It said the individuals had been found guilty according to the law and ordered executed by the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh, which handles terrorism trials, and the country's high court.
Amnesty International said 11 of the men were convicted of spying for Iran and sentenced to death after a "grossly unfair trial".
At least 14 others executed were convicted of violent offences related to their participation in anti-government demonstrations in Shiite-populated areas of Saudi Arabia between 2011 and 2012.
The Interior Ministry said the body of one of the executed men Khaled bin Abdel Karim al-Tuwaijri was publicly pinned to a pole.
The statement did not say in which city of Saudi Arabia the public display took place.
He appears to have been convicted as a Sunni militant, though the government did not give a detailed explanation of the charges against each individual executed.
The killings brings the number of people executed since the start of the year to around 100, according to official announcements.
Last year, the kingdom executed 149 people, most of them drug smugglers convicted of non-violent crimes, according to Amnesty's most recent figures.
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