Saudi Arabia Now Hiring Executioners Beheading rate has more than doubled since last year By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted May 19, 2015 3:21 AM CDT 14 comments Comments Saudi police stand guard outside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali) (Newser) – Saudi Arabia has stepped up its execution rate: Eighty-five people have been beheaded so far this year, compared to 88 in all of 2014, according to Human Rights Watch—and created job opportunities in the process. The country's Ministry of Civil Service has advertised for eight executioners, with no specific experience required, the New York Times reports. Diplomats believe the surge in executions may be linked to the appointment of more judges, which has allowed a backlog of cases to be cleared, reports Reuters, which notes that the Saudi ad describes the executioners as "religious functionaries." No salary was posted, and the other duties of successful applicants may include cutting the hands off thieves, the Times notes.