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Saudi Arabia Steps Up Beheadings; Some See Political Message

Immediately after his sword falls, the Saudi Arabian executioner steps backwards to avoid soiling his clothes with the blood of the condemned man, whose headless body can be seen slumping over backwards in the shaky online film. After perfunctorily checking the white folds of his robe for flecks of red, the executioner wipes his blade with a tissue, which he drops onto the corpse and walks away. A sudden surge in public executions in Saudi Arabia in the last two months has coincided...

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