(AsiaNews) - Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan Muslim woman on death row in Saudi
Arabia, is holding onto her life by a thread. Despite countless appeals for her
release, in and outside the country, by the Sri Lankan government, NGOs and
Caritas, the young woman remains in jail for the murder of the newly born baby
of the family that employed her.
According to EU
High Representative and Vice President Catherine Ashton, the European Union "will
continue to follow it [Rizana's case] very attentively, in close coordination
with the authorities of her home country, Sri Lanka". In fact, for Saudi
authorities, the case "is not yet closed".
2007, Rizana Nafeek comes from Mutur, a poor village in the eastern district of
Trincomalee. She arrived in saudi Arabia when she was only 17 on a forged
passport to work as a maid. Her employer's child died when she was working for
After she was
accused of killing the baby, she was subjected to a phoney trial and sentenced
to death based on a confession she signed but whose contents she did not know in
a language she did not speak.
employment agent in Sri Lanka was arrested last year and charged for giving her
authorities have been active in trying to keep Rizana's case in the news. Last Wednesday,
Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera said that the execution order had been
suspended. He added that a Sri Lankan delegation visited the dead child's
family to seek a pardon.
According to the
Asian Human Rights Commission, Saudi Arabia has one the world's highest
At the end of 2009,
Amnesty International reported that at least 141 people were on death row in
Saudi prisons, 104 foreigners.
from Africa, Asia and the Mideast are the main victims.