A mock execution scene in protest of Saudi Arabia beheadings in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Oct 15, 2011
Andrew Biraj—Reuters
By Sabrina Toppa
May 19, 2015

On Monday, eight new job openings for “religious functionaries” tasked with “carrying out the death sentence according to Islamic Shari’a after it is ordered by a legal ruling” appeared on the website of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Civil Service.

Capital punishment is administered for crimes like murder, rape, adultery, witchcraft and drug offenses in the Islamic kingdom, which is currently witnessing an uptick in beheadings under Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman, the New York Times reports.

In 2015, the pace of executions accelerated to 85 in just a few months — already set to eclipse last year’s total of 88 beheadings. It is not clear why there has been a sharp increase, but new judges have swiftly been plowing through a case backlog, according to Reuters.

The vacancies do not specify educational credentials or required skills, but the executioners are ideally adroit swordsmen, as the most common execution implement is a curved scimitar.

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