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  • » 01/07/2013, 00.00

    SRI LANKA - SAUDI ARABIA

    Rizana Nafeek, execution "imminent" in a Saudi jail

    Melani Manel Perera

    This was revealed by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). Appeal from Government of Sri Lanka to renew diplomatic efforts. The young woman on death row since 2007. She can only be released if pardoned by parents who accuse her of murdering their baby.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) - Rizana Nafeek may be executed "at any moment" warns Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), while calling for the intervention of the international community to ask Saudi Arabia to pardon the Sri Lankan Muslim, sentenced to death for the alleged murder of a newborn. Citing Kifaya Iftekhar, a muslim who is closely following the case, the AHRC says the execution of the young woman is "imminent", and calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to "renew diplomatic efforts" to save her life.

    Hailing from a very poor family, Rizana arrived in Saudi Arabia in 2005, just 17 years old (with a false passport), to work as a maid. The child in the family where she was working died while she was on duty. Rizana was accused of murder and sentenced to death with a mock trial, based on a signed confession that she did not know the content of, because it was written in Arabic. Since 2007, she has been on death row.

    Recently, it seemed that the story of Rizana had come to a positive turning point, thanks to certain statements made by the Crown Prince of the Kingdom. However, the AHRC denies this possibility, stating that the Saudi authorities would have "warned the Sri Lankan government" of the impending execution.

    For several months, Colombo has fought for the release of Rizana Nafeek, always calling it "close." However, according to the charity, the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is making these statements to calm tempers and reassure those who are fighting for the girl's freedom. In fact, the AHRC said, "the government has not been able to gain any diplomatic ties with the family of the newborn, who alone have the power to grant a pardon to Rizana. Usually, this is achieved by payment or hoping in the compassion of the family" .

     

     

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    See also

    10/01/2013 SAUDI ARABIA- SRI LANKA
    Migration flows to Saudi Arabia must be regulated to avoid another Rizana Nafeek
    Source talks to AsiaNews about illegal labour practices involving migrants to Saudi Arabia from Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. "Exporting" countries fail to protect their migrants. In Rizana Nafeek's case, Sri Lankan authorities failed to provide her with a lawyer during her trial.

    09/07/2011 SRI LANKA
    Sinhalese and Tamil Muslims together for Rizana Nafeek
    The muslim maid was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for allegedly killing an infant in 2005. Q protest rally is held outside the Saudi Embassy. Activists say that the child’s death was an accident and blame both countries for the situation.

    13/12/2010 SRI LANKA - SAUDI ARABIA
    Sri Lanka, Muslims and Catholics together to save the life of Rizana Nafeek
    The girl has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia, accused of murdering an infant, son of the woman that Rizana worked for. In three mosques meetings were organized to pray and sign the "Save Rizana” petition. The signatures will be sent to the king of Saudi Arabia, hoping he will grant clemency for the girl. Since 2007, Fr. Sigamony, national director of Caritas Sri Lanka, has been working for the release of Rizana.

    09/11/2010 SRI LANKA - SAUDI ARABIA
    Sri Lankan Muslim teenager sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. Appeal of Catholics
    Fr. George Sigamony, director of Caritas Sri Lanka, calls on all Catholics to pray after the verdict that decrees the death sentence for Rizana, just 17 years old, in prison on false charges of murder. The Asian Human Rights Commission: "Do not let Rizana Nafeek become a victim of the infamous practice of Saudi Arabia to sentence juvenile offenders to death."

    05/12/2012 SRI LANKA - SAUDI ARABIA
    Sri Lanka's Church and government hope for Rizana Nafeek's release
    The Saudi crown prince announces a pardon for death row inmates as a blessing for the health of his ailing king. The young Muslim woman was sentenced to death in 2007 for allegedly killing an infant. A Catholic nun expresses joy at the news, but urges the government to protect better migrant workers.



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