Death Penalty

Saudi Man Arrested for Capturing Beheading on Video

Saudi Arabia beheaded at least 83 people last year, many publicly, but unlike ISIS it doesn't want video of its acts on the Internet.


There are plenty of videos floating around online depicting beheading by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). As an aspiring proto-state, ISIS is motivated to publicize its executions to demonstrate its authority, and the authority of its law, in territories the militant group claims as their own. Not necessarily so for established governments.

Beheadings are an accepted form of criminal sanction under Sharia law, although it is not identified as an explicit punishment to any specific crime. Saudi Arabia is the only country left in the world that still hands out beheadings as a punishment. The Saudi government beheaded at least 83 people in 2014, but unlike ISIS it isn't seeking to publicize its beheadings. Now a man who captured a recent beheading of a Burmese woman in Mecca who was convicted of killing her husband's daughter is under arrest. According to The New York Times, the Interior Ministry says the man will be prosecuted for cybercrimes.

Watch the video here.

Here is a partial transcript, via The Times of Israel:

"I did not kill. There is no God but God. I did not kill," cries the woman, covered in black, apparently kneeling on the pavement circled by police officers in the video on LiveLeak.

"Haram. Haram. Haram. Haram. I did not kill … I do not forgive you … This is an injustice," she screams in Arabic, using the Islamic term for something that is forbidden.

The executioner, dressed in a white robe, forces her to lie down on the ground, near a pedestrian crossing. Mountains are seen in the distance.

"I did not," she continues before a final scream as the executioner's curved sword severs her head, in a traditional execution for the kingdom, which carries out death sentences in public.

A voice then reads out her crime.

Related: Jacob Sullum on the problems with sanitizing capital punishment.

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  1. Looks like all of that security sector assistance training American law enforcement has been giving the Saudi law enforcement officials is finally paying off.

    1. But did the guy in white get home safely?

      1. He did. And everyone knows now that taking unapproved video in public is a crime.

        1. It’s goddamn haram is what it is.

          There is no God but God
          and Allah was his name-oh
          And Allah was his name-oh

    2. Don’t behead me bro!

  2. Let me guess: this is also the imperialist white man’s fault.

    1. No, it’s obviously the fault of all Muslims everywhere.

      1. They sure do like cutting off heads, don’t they?

        1. He was going to cut off her nose but people told him not to be spiteful.

    2. Saudi Arabia needs a more powerful government so it can prevent this sort of thing.

      1. I’ve often wondered what Saudi Arabia would be called after a palace coup or revolution.

        1. Islamic State.

  3. Well, it’s nothing to lose your head over….


  4. Is this, really, all that much worse than lethal injection or the electric chair, gas chamber, firing squad, hangman’s noose, etc?

    It’s all horrible. Unlike most here, I think there are certain crimes where the death penalty is warranted- but I don’t think I trust the state to get it right. However, I’m also not sure the method of killing matters. The person’s dead in the end. It seemed relatively quick, albeit grisly.

    1. Yeah. I can think of worse ways to go than having your head chopped off.

      1. Moe: Would you want to have your head chopped off or be burned at the stake?

        Curly: I’d be burned at the stake.

        Moe; Why?

        Curly: A hot steak is better than a cold chop! Nyaaa, Nyaaa, Nyaaaaaa

    2. of course, the crime of recording it… is it against the law to illegally record an execution in the US? I wonder…


      1. “of course, the crime of recording it… is it against the law to illegally record an execution in the US? I wonder…”

        No, but you’re not legally allowed to know what drugs are used to carry the execution out.

      2. It must be since it certainly isn’t compulsory. Where have you been?

    3. When it comes right down to it, not really. The German principalities used an axe for beheadings up until shortly after the French Revolution. Beheading is less TV-friendly but you are right — killing someone (even justifiably) is horrible, and it is irreversible in a way that other penalties are not. The method of death can be relevant (wouldn’t particularly like to bring crucifixion back, for instance), but ultimately so long as the execution is quick and clean methinks the abstract horror of ending life on the say-so of a state is worse than the optics of the method used.

      1. The French used the guillotine until 1977.

    4. Decapitation is fine, as long as the state isn’t secretive about who is manufacturing the swords

  5. As long as they publically disclose the kind of metal that went into making the sword, I suppose.

    1. The metallurgical formulas were lost when Gondolin fell.

  6. Hauled out to some side street with a bunch of fat fucks in clown costumes milling around. Some cretin with a prehistoric moral code comes and shoves your bound body to the pavement. Head lopped off and finally picked up by some other thug who plops it in a bag. Only govt has the ability to create sympathy for a convicted murderer.

    1. Given that this was Saudi Arabia, I question whether a conviction means she probably did this, or whether it just means she’s a woman with the bad luck to end up before some Imam who decreed the harlot in desperate need of a good decapitation.

      I’m guessing the latter. Being a woman in a Saudi court must be like being a black man accused of raping a white woman in Burmingham circa 1953.

      The Saudis once forced girls back into a burning building where they died because they exited the building without their face coverings.

      1. Being a woman in a Saudi court must be like being a black man accused of raping a white woman in Birmingham circa 1853.

        In 1953 they at least had a trial.

        1. LOL WUT?

          /no, no they didn’t

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  8. Fuck, whether she did anything or not, straffinrun is right. Fuck those MFers.

    But one question, how did she scream after the first chop?

    1. 1) it was actually a bystander screaming, or

      2) unless all ISIS video executioners have the upper body strength of a 9-year-old, necks would appear to be fairly difficult to chop through, especially with a sword that gets slammed into pavement during the average beheading. Guillotines have big, heavy blades for a reason.

      1. ISIS beheadings tend to specifically go for long, painful, slow cuts rather than quick ones. But yeah, historically speaking there’s a lot of stories about executioners messing up their first chop and having to try multiple times.

      2. Yeah, but he seems to go through pretty good the first time. If that is her, man, fuck them even more.

        The second chop just appears to be to finish the job, like there was a little left. It wasn’t a big swing.

        Maybe the audio lags?

        Idk, its lunch time and I shouldn’t have watched that. I’m not hungry now.


  9. I still think that an American college campus is a far more dangerous place for a woman. /American leftist

    1. Yes, a woman’s lot in Saudi Arabia is a paradise compared to the hardships faced by American women every day due to the Patriarchy.

  10. Ignoring the gruesome nature of beheadings, what amazes me is the fact that it’s done in some random parking lot. You’d think that if the Saudis wanted to either cover it up or expose it to the population they’d do it in a more secluded spot or in a town square or something. And at least try to save a little face by not having someone constantly screaming orders at her.

    1. It was done in Mecca, which means legally non-Muslims aren’t even allowed in the city.

      If your goal is to hide your more exuberant practices from the Infidel, Mecca’s not the worst place to do it.

      1. Still, maybe I’m thinking too much like the NKVD here, but wouldn’t it just be better to make that person ‘disappear’ by beheading them in some random backroom of the religious police station? And if you wanted it done in public with a crowd wouldn’t it be better to show a little professionalism? I.e. have a gallows or some shit.

        1. “wouldn’t it just be better to make that person ‘disappear’ by beheading them in some random backroom of the religious police station?”

          Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault has this covered.

          The spectacle is more than half the actual point of the act. Doing it in public flaunts the authority of the state. If they hid it in a basement, it would be suggesting there were something shameful about it in the first place.

          re: professionalism:

          yes, the sloppy hacking in a parking lot does sort of undermine his point there.

          1. That’s what I’m saying, if you want it to be public to create obedience, you show it in the context of the biggest, most powerful, most scary religious police officers killing someone on an elevated platform with as much ceremony as you can. Instead this just looks like some random gang of thugs murdering someone in the street (which it really is, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going for).

    2. I had a friend work there for a number of months. They do it publically in the square. He witnessed his fair share of beheadings.

      I asked him if just once wasn’t enough. He just laughed. Made me nervous.

  11. What a bunch of frickin’ amateur barbarians.

    Its not like its a big mystery how to cut a head off right. These dumbfucks can’t even be bothered to get the right tool for the job.

    1. Guillotine?

    2. Samurai Sword?

    3. bunch of savages in this town.

      /dante hicks

    4. Vorpal blade or gtfo.

    5. The sword the guy used looked like a traditional scimitar. Historically a scimitar was supposed to be so sharp that you could toss a silk scarf into the air at head height and slice it in two in mid air. The scimitar was MADE for beheading and cutting off limbs in battle. Also, they still know how to make Damascus steel blades and you can bet the blade used was the equal of anything wielded by any of Saladin’s troops.


    Simple as that.

    And America is friendly with BARBARIC ANIMALS.

  13. Sorta OT =

    ISIS threatens to kill 2 Japanese hostages unless Tokyo pays $200 million

    “Well, obviously this is just a consequence of how the Japanese have been so interventionist in Arab political and socioeconomic affairs”

    1. My friend’s mother makes $61 an hour on the internet . She has been without a job for ten months but last month her pay was $15622 just working on the internet for a few hours.
      over here. ????????

    2. The $200 million comes from the fact that Japan has agreed to pay $200 million in NON-military aid to some brown people over there.

      Yeah, not exactly interventionism.

  14. I don’t get it. If they do the beheading in public?in a fuckin’ crosswalk, of all places (like they want to tie up traffic & make a display for passing motorists)?why do they have anything against putting it on the Internet? Regional distrib’n rights?

  15. Two observations:
    1) At least they did it quickly with a (traditionally extremely sharp) sword instead of sawing the poor wight’s head off with a kitchen knife like AQ and ISIS.

    2) Note that while this is a public execution, the ibn Saud regime still doesn’t want any record of the event itself. Note also that Islam is antithetical to the very concept of freedom of speech/expression. But then videoing a LEO in their ROUTINE duties is a crime in many jurisdictions. It isn’t so different here.

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