A retired executioner in Egypt has explained what it’s like to kill people for a living.
Few things are more sobering than a legal executioner explaining that his job is ‘like going to see some friends and taking one to hang’.
We’re not sure what this guy does with his friends, but you can, absolutely, count us out.
But, for the executioner – known as an ‘Ashmawy’ in Egypt – killing is all in a day’s work and there ‘are no emotions involved.’
Speaking to Vice, the now retired man explained that he got into the role after watching an execution take place when he was in the army, and knew he wanted to have a go because he felt that it was ‘a job that earns people’s respect because it’s so unique’.
He explained how throughout his career, executing people became a ‘very normal thing’ to him and in the end, it was just like ‘going to see some friends and taking one to hang’.
“No emotions involved,” he said.
The retired executioner also revealed that there are two things people do to try and extend their life.
The first thing they ask for ‘is to continue living’, which might seem obvious but you can’t tell us you wouldn’t ask it too.
He went on to explain that he’s always asked for more time: “If even for a minute, because life is precious. You only learn about life when you have to go.
“Especially in prison, as nobody on death row knows when they are going to die. Only the executioner knows, and they are only told two hours beforehand.”
And the other thing they do “to buy themselves one or two minutes they often ask for water. After we get them water, they ask for a cigarette.”
“We give them a cigarette. Then they take one puff. It’s a soul. A soul. Only a person who is dying can understand it.
“The soul is the most precious thing.”
The executioner went on to explain that while some people stick in his head after having executed them, he often sees it as doing a job.
But the one execution that made him cry, which saw a man caught up among powerful people and was falsely accused of a crime he did not commit.
However, the executioner is quick to explain that he ‘was crying because of the injustice, not for him’.
We imagine that’s the same as us saying we have hay fever when we watch a sad movie.