Monday, March 18, 2013

'Shooter' to replace 'swordsman' in Saudi executions

Well, well, well the times they are a changin'.  For the first time in 1,400 years guns have been authorized to execute condemned prisoners due to a lack of Saudi swordsmen to carry out beheadings. 


'Shooter' to replace 'swordsman' in Saudi executions
Kingdom is shifting from beheading to execution by shooting

By Staff

Published Monday, March 18, 2013

Saudi Arabia executed seven jewelry burglars this week by a firing squad for the first time in the history of the conservative Muslim Gulf Kingdom, paving the way for an end to a long-standing practice of beheading convicts by the sword.

The execution of the seven in the southern town of Abha came amidst growing debate to stop execution by the sword because of what officials described as a shortage of swordsmen and a delay in carrying out the sentence in many cases.

The execution also followed statements by the country’s top scholars that such a method is permissible in Islam since it is quick and not painful.

Newspapers said last week that a joint committee comprising officials from the ministries of interior and health along with the prosecution and prison authorities is studying enforcing executions by firing squads provided they are approved by the Emirs (princes) of the Kingdom’s provinces.

“This method of execution could tackle the problem of swordsmen’s shortages, which often cause a delay in their arrival and consequently in carrying out the execution,” the Saudi Arabic language daily Alyoum said, quoting Justice Ministry officials.

Article continues HERE.