World

Saudi Arabia Hiring Eight More Executioners, 85 Beheadings So Far In 2015

| by Michael Allen
Deera Square, Riyadh.Deera Square, Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia, one of the closest allies of the U.S. in the Middle East, has executed 85 people by beheading in 2015, and is looking to hire eight more executioners.

According to Reuters, King Salman's government advertised online for the new executioners on May 18.

The gruesome occupation requires folks to behead criminals in public view, also known as "executing a judgement of death," and amputate the limbs of people convicted for various lesser crimes.

Newsweek reported in 2014 that Saudi Arabia beheads more people than the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group.

The drain pictured in the image above is reportedly from Deera Square in Riyadh, where people are beheaded. It is rumored that the drain allows the blood from the execution to be neatly washed away.

Saudi Arabia beheaded its 85th person this year on May 17.

Adam Coogle, a Middle East researcher for Human Rights Watch, told The Independent earlier this month, "From January to the end of July 2014 there were 15 executions, but they finished the year 2014 with 88, which shows clearly that the spike began last year and has continued."

Amnesty International's annual review of worldwide death penalties found that China led the world in 2014, but "the other countries making up the world’s top five executioners in 2014 were Iran (289 officially announced and at least 454 more that were not acknowledged by the authorities), Saudi Arabia (at least 90), Iraq (at least 61) and the USA (35)."

Amnesty International also noted that "in countries including North Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia, governments continued to use the death penalty as a tool to suppress political dissent ... Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia accounted for 90 percent of all recorded executions in the region, and 72 percent of all recorded executions globally (excluding China)."

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia continues to receive U.S. money even though the country has failed to "meet fiscal transparency requirements" set by the U.S. government, reported U.S. News in February.

Sources: Reuters, Amnesty International, The Independent, U.S. News, Newsweek
Image Credit: Luke Richard Thompson