Help Wanted: Saudi Arabia Advertises for New Executioners as Beheading Rate Soars

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia

This post was originally published to WeMeantWell.com.

Saudi Arabia, one of America’s bestest friends in the fight against extremists like IS who behead people, was ranked third in 2014, after China and Iran, and ahead of Iraq and the United States, of all countries in numbers of executed people, according to Amnesty International.

The neat thing is that while the U.S. is at war with IS, screeching about how they behead, the Saudi’s just keep sending people into really fair Sharia courts and then whacking away as the U.S. sits silent.

Now, Saudi Arabia is advertising for eight new executioners, recruiting extra staff to carry out an increasing number of death sentences, usually done by public beheading. Authorities have not said why the number of executions increased so rapidly, but diplomats have speculated it may be because more judges have been appointed, allowing a backlog of appeal cases to be heard.

No special qualifications are needed for the executioner job, whose main role is “executing a judgment of death” but also involve performing amputations on those convicted of lesser offences. The work seems to require some physical labor, is done outside and it looks like you have to buy your own sword.

The job announcement was posted in Arabic on a Saudi civil service jobs portal. It is open to Saudi citizens only. You begin the application process with a downloadable pdf application form for the executioner jobs. The jobs apparently are classified as “religious functionaries” and start at the lower end of the civil service pay scale.

Still, while the take home pay may be low, you just can’t beat this kind of thing for job satisfaction. Find something you love to do, and it’ll never be work.

Image from Secretary of Defense and in the public domain

Former OPEC Official Believes Price of Oil Will Fall This Year

Oil refinery in Philadelphia, PA

Hasan Qabazard, former director of research at OPEC, said the Brent crude oil price will fall to at least $40 per barrel later this year.

Qabazard cited more oil production by Iraq and Iran, along with recovering shale oil, as the reasons why a drop will be expected.

Currently, the Brent crude oil price is hovering nearly $70 per barrel after a sharp drop last year from more than $100 per barrel.

In 2009, Qabazard predicted the price of oil possibly falling, although it rose a few months later.

Still Qabazard is not alone in believing the price of oil will fall as Goldman Sachs reported last May how the price of oil may go as low as $45 per barrel. In fact, analysts at the bank believe there is no equilibrium between the supply and demand of oil:

We find that the global market imbalances are in fact not solved and believe that the rally will prove self-defeating as it undermines the nascent rebalancing,

OPEC recently finished a conference in Vienna, Austria, where the group decided it would not cut supply.

Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada spoke on the first day of the meeting and mostly blamed the drop in oil prices on “speculators.”

Al-Sada also suggested recent conditions were tough for countries producing oil:

The current environment is clearly challenging – and has become a test for both oil producers and hydrocarbon investors,

Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi said early last week the market was stabilizing and the current strategy by OPEC was working:

You can see that I am not stressed, that I am happy,

Meanwhile, Iraq is seeking to increase its crude oil exports to get as much money as it can after the massive drop in oil.

Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the country’s oil minister, previously told reporters how oil prices would rise to $75 per barrel by the end of this year.

In terms of Iran, Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said, before the conference in Vienna, how Iran would sell on the market whether OPEC liked it or not:

We don’t need permission from OPEC to return to the market. This is our right, we were limited by sanctions and this is completely normal if we return to the market with the ceiling we had before [the sanctions were imposed],

Moreover, Zangeneh said foreign oil companies were interested in coming back to Iran once the internationally imposed sanctions against Iran were removed.

ExxonMobil hired a lobbyist to “monitor congressional activity” over anything Iran related, although the firm insisted it had done no such thing.

Based on a report by the Energy Information Administration, the United States is estimated to produce even more crude oil in the next few years:

Total U.S. oil production is projected to increase 23 percent between 2014 and 2020. After 2020, tight oil production declines, as drilling moves into less-productive areas,

 

Qabazard may be right after all.

*Creative Commons Licensed Image by pontla  

Echoes of the Original Mother’s Day Proclamation at Home and Abroad

By Frida Berrigan

“From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says ‘Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.’”

Julia Ward Howe wrote these words 145 years ago, just after the end of the U.S. Civil War. Her proclamation calling for mothers of all nations to come together to settle wars has morphed into the flower and greeting card fest that we will celebrate this weekend.

Let us honor our mothers (and Julia Ward Howe) by listening to the voices of mothers from some of the world’s 28 active war zones. Women are still calling for an end to bloodshed in every corner of the globe.

The war in the Central African Republic pits brother against brother, Christian against Muslim. Madame Kamouss raised her sons in Saidou, a poor community of cinderblock homes, and found herself mediating between her two sons, who had chosen different sides in the conflict. She hid one and reminded the other of how he had been raised to respect people of all faiths. “Do you want to hurt your brother?” she asked, before her other son came out of hiding. They reunited warily, but did not fight any longer, as a long article in Slate magazine last August reported.

Over 100,000 people died in a decades-long war in the Philippines before negotiations ended the conflict in 2013. The work of repairing, healing and restoring goes on even as violence continues to mar the peace. Froilyn Mendoza grew up in a small Mindanao village as a member of the Teduray tribe. Her parents pushed for her to be educated, even though many women from her tribal group remained illiterate. The Teduray nominated Mendoza to represent indigenous voices in peace negotiations between the Filipino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and she became part of the Transition Committee.

“When I hear my children praying that my meetings will end soon, I explain to them that I am serving our people,” she said. “We’ve had 40 years of war, we’ve not developed because we’ve always been confronted with the conflict. I now want my children to live without fear.”

Shereen named her youngest daughter Ayenda, which means future. She and her two daughters live in a refugee camp in Kawergosk, Iraqi Kurdistan. They fled Syria in the early days of the violence, which has now killed upwards of 300,000 people. More than 2 million children are displaced like Ayenda and her sister Yasmine. Their mother’s wish and plea for the future is simply peace and to go home. Resistance continues inside Syria too, and women are at the forefront of trying to resist the regime through nonviolent means.

It is not just in far flung war zones, however, that mothers are calling for peace and justice. In our own cities and towns, grieving women demand that violence and bloodshed cease. For Gloria Darden, the pain is almost too much for words. “I got a hole in my heart,” the mother of Freddie Gray tells NBC News. Gray died on April 19, after being beaten and brutalized by Baltimore police officers on April 12. The six officers involved in death have been criminally charged, but this is just the beginning of the change that is needed.

Gwen Carr is the mother of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who was choked to death by police officers in July 2014. The man responsible for her son’s death, Daniel Pantaleo, has not been held accountable. Carr spoke to the thousands who took to the streets to protest her son’s death, calling on them to “keep on doing it, but do it in peace.”

Valerie Bell is asking us for more. Her son, Sean Bell, was killed by New York City police officers on the eve of his wedding in 2006. She weeps with Mrs. Darden and Mrs. Carr and so many — too many — more mothers. She says no more. As the founder Mothers of Never Again, Bell is helping to organize a demonstration at the U.S. Department of Justice on Saturday, May 9, demanding justice and racial equality in the names of their slain children.

“This Mother’s Day,” Bell pleaded, “let’s come together to demand an end to this cycle of violence, this society of institutionalized racism and police militarization. We are healers, teachers, caretakers, givers of life, and so much more. Mothers are powerful; if we come together, we can be unstoppable.”

You can hear the echoes of Julia Ward Howe in her words. So, in the spirit of the original Mother’s Day Proclamation, and on behalf of our mothers, in the names of the victims of war, let us join Valerie Bell and so many others in working for true and lasting peace, which is built on justice.

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Waging Nonviolence content falls under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Frida Berrigan, a columnist for WagingNonviolence.org, serves on the board of the War Resisters League and organizes with Witness Against Torture.