» 01/22/2013, 00.00
Rizana Nafeek’s mother: I do not want money, but protection for all migrants like my daughter
Melani Manel Perera
She has refused any financial help following the execution of the girl, sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia in 2007. Church and civil society in the country are organizing petitions and collecting signatures to demand laws in Sri Lanka to protect migrant workers.
Colombo (AsiaNews) - The mother of Rizana Nafeek, the young Sri Lankan Muslim executed in Saudi Arabia for the alleged murder of an infant, has refused any financial help offered to her after the death of her daughter. In its place, Seeiadu Ahammaddu Rezeena is calling for "a program of aid and assistance for all the women and poor families living in rural areas," such as hers.
Otherwise, "in the future other Sri Lankan women will find themselves in a horrible situation like that of Rizana." the Church and civil society are supporting the struggle of this mother by organizing a petition in Muttur - the birthplace of Rizana - to ask the government to create laws governing transfers of migrant workers.
Fr. Nandana Mantunga, director of the human rights commission for the diocese of Kandy (Central Province), describes what happened to Rizana "cruel and inhuman", condemning Saudi Arabia "for violating not only the international rights of the child [the Sri Lankan was minor at the time, ed], but also the minimum standards of due process. " The priest, however, also accuses Sri Lanka, "at the beginning of the story refused to provide assistance to the girl, hiding behind a 'policy of non-interference' for those citizens charged in other countries."
The initiative launched in Muttur is not the only of its kind. In fact, the Law and Society Trust (LST) of Colombo has organized a similar petition with a request to the Government of Sri Lanka to enact - and improve where they exist - laws and policies on labor migration, to ensure adequate protection for all migrant workers, women in particular, according to the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Sri Lanka ratified this agreement in 1995.
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