The Slatest

Saudi Arabia Posts Online Job Listing for Executioners to Carry Out Public Beheadings

The traditional Saudi dancing best known as “Arda” in Riyadh on February 18, 2014.  

Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

Finding a job, of any sort, online is pretty standard practice at this point, but on Monday Saudi Arabia took the quest for qualified candidates to a new, surreal level when the Ministry of Civil Service’s website posted job openings for eight executioners. Saudi Arabia prefers to carry out capital punishment by beheading, usually in public. And, you see, there’s been a pretty serious uptick in executions—the 85th execution of the year was carried out on Sunday, which nearly equals last year’s total in the 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,’” according to the New York Times. “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.”

Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for its use of capital and corporal punishment. “Saudi authorities have not said why the number of executions has increased so rapidly, but diplomats have speculated it may be because more judges have been appointed, allowing a backlog of appeal cases to be heard,” Reuters reports. “A downloadable pdf application form for the executioner jobs, available on the website carrying Monday’s date, said the jobs were classified as ‘religious functionaries’ and that they would be at the lower end of the civil service pay scale.”