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Saudi Arabia may stop beheading due to swordsmen shortages
Oil-rich kingdom mulls abolition of beheading in favour of firing squads for capital punishments due to reported shortages of government swordsmen, Saudi daily reports
Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Mar 2013
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Saudi Arabia
Swordman prepares to behead convict in SAudi (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A joint Saudi committee composed of representatives of the ministries of interior, justice and health is mulling the replacement of beheading with firing squads for capital sentences due to shortages in government swordsmen, Saudi daily Al-Youm reported on Sunday.

The committee argued that such a step, if adopted, would not violate Islamic law, allowing heads – or emirs – of the country's 13 local administrative regions to begin using the new method when needed.

"This solution seems practical, especially in light of shortages in official swordsmen or their belated arrival to execution yards in some incidents; the aim is to avoid interruption of the regularly-taken security arrangements," the committee said in a statement.

The ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom beheaded 76 people in 2012, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. Human Rights Watch (HRW) put the number at 69.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of Sharia, or Islamic Law. So far this year, three people have been executed.

The beheading issue has always been a source of tension between Saudi Arabia and the international community.

Last month, Saudi Arabia slammed international reactions to its beheading of a Sri Lankan woman convicted of killing her employer's baby.

Riyadh "deplores the statements made... about the execution of a Sri Lankan maid who had plotted and killed an infant by suffocating him to death one week after she arrived in the kingdom," a government spokesman said.

The case sparked widespread international condemnation, including from rights groups that said she had only been 17 years old when she was charged with murdering the baby in 2005.

The case soured the kingdom's diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka, which on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia in protest.

The UN's main human rights body on Friday expressed "deep dismay" at the beheading, while the European Union said it had asked Saudi authorities to commute the death penalty. Riyadh, however, rejected the statements as "external interference" in its domestic affairs.

Saudi Arabia "respects... all rules and laws and protects the rights of its people and residents, and completely rejects any intervention in its affairs and judicial verdicts, whatever the excuse," the spokesman said.





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15



Lawrence Newman
09-03-2014 10:55pm
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Don't judge lest you be judged
Look at all the Western hypocrites on here. Judging the muslim culture without any sense of how insincere they are. The West kills babies by the millions every year--a completely amoral act--and they have the audacity to criticise Arabs for executing adults who've committed crimes. Hang your heads in shame, you hypocrites. From a British atheist, anti-religionist but always honest speaker of truth to idiots.
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14



Mar
16-03-2013 07:18pm
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Job Opportunity for the Kufr
How do I apply? This would be considered "fighting terrorism" no?
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13



gwern
12-03-2013 08:13pm
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?
The ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom beheaded 76 people in 2012, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. Human Rights Watch (HRW) put the number at 69. How can there be a shortage when they are barely doing 1 execution every 5 days?
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12



Dung Ho
12-03-2013 07:40pm
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Bunch of ignorant psychopaths
If there was no oil in these countries no one would tollerate these hooligans and their vile customs. A sick sick people.
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11



Lonnie Beerman
12-03-2013 02:59pm
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Religion of Peace my a---
Ah yes, more cultural jewels from the keepers of the holies for the religion of peace. What a sick joke! The Saudis are not good people, at least the men, that is...I know...I worked there. They are appallingly mysogenistic, they still practice slavery, they exploit children and lie about everything.
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10



Abu Goolie
12-03-2013 02:45pm
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Idea
Why not use a chainsaw.
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9



Stephen Ryan
12-03-2013 06:10am
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Beheading
If a baby-sitter suffocated a child of mine, I would consider beheading too good for her.
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8



david james
12-03-2013 04:23am
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observation
While not seeming to be a physically taxing job there seems to be a lack of dedicated employees. In the middle east I find it difficult to believe that say 50 individuals can't be found that are shy about lopping someones head off. Even as an on call service. Perhaps some one should explain the procedures of terminating the services of one who fails to perform their duties.
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7



David
12-03-2013 04:09am
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Welcome to the 11th century
I see they're finally evolving.
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6



walter palmer
11-03-2013 11:44pm
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Greyrider
Here's my chance to get ahead .. tell me, does the executioner's wife ask,"How was your day?"...food for thought
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Tom
21-03-2013 07:45pm
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Reply
"You know, my customers never thank me for a job well done. Oh, wait..."

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