18 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/09/2013 12:41
SRI LANKA - SAUDI ARABIA
Sri Lanka's Rizana Nafeek executed
by Melani Manel Perera
The young Muslim woman was on death row since 2007 for allegedly killing an infant.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek was executed in Saudi Arabia today (6 am GMT), Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry reported. The execution took place in Damami, a town about 400 kilometres west of Riyadh. The young Muslim woman was on death row for allegedly killing an infant.

Last Saturday, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa appealed to the Saudi king for a delay to allow a Sri Lanka delegation to meet the baby's family to work out a deal.

Fr George Sigamoney, head of Caritas Sri Lanka, told AsiaNews that he was "deeply upset" over Rizana's execution. Since her arrest, he had fought for her release.

"Unfortunately, what we expected to happen happened," he said. "As a representative of the Church and of Caritas I want to express my sorrow and solidarity to Rizana's family. I pray for them that they may have the courage needed to face their pain and get through this moment."

"I want to remember Rizana in another way," Fr George said. "As a nation, we must reflect and weep for the loss of this young life." However, "I believe the time has come for government authorities to deal in a serious manner with the predicament of migrant workers seeking employment in the Middle East."

When news came of Rizana's execution, the Sri Lankan parliament observed a minute of silence as a show of respect. Her parents, sisters and brothers went to their mosque to pray.

Rizana's mother, Fareena, asked Sri Lankan authorities to repatriate her daughter's body for burial.

Her father Sultant is devastated not only because of her death but also because he is the one who sent her overseas, still underage, in order to help the family, neighbours said.

"There is no doubt that the charge of murder against Rizana is wrong," the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said in a statement issued today. "The laws in Saudi Arabia falls short of universally accepted norms concerning investigation of crimes, most importantly in this case the failure to conduct of an autopsy upon the body of the deceased person, alleged to have been murdered by Rizana. None of the fair trial guarantees were observed when Rizana was tried in the Saudi court."

"The Government of Sri Lanka or the office of the President did nothing to save Rizana's life, despite calls for assistance from Rizana's family and from the global civil society." In fact, "President Rajapaksha's government refused to pay at least the lawyers' fee for filing the appeal. [. . .] So long as there is a government that does not show any care for the rights of its people, similar tragedies will be repeated in Sri Lanka."

Born into a very poor family in Mutur village (Trincomalee District in the Eastern Province), Rizana had moved to Saudi Arabia in 2005 when she was only 17, on a false passport, to work as a domestic helper.

When her employer's child died, she was accused of murder and sentenced to death in 2007 after a phony trial based on a confession written in Arabic she was forced to sign, even though she did not know that language.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/10/2013 SAUDI ARABIA- SRI LANKA
Migration flows to Saudi Arabia must be regulated to avoid another Rizana Nafeek
12/05/2012 SRI LANKA - SAUDI ARABIA
Sri Lanka's Church and government hope for Rizana Nafeek's release
by Melani Manel Perera
01/22/2013 SRI LANKA
Rizana Nafeek’s mother: I do not want money, but protection for all migrants like my daughter
by Melani Manel Perera
05/11/2012 SRI LANKA
Sentenced to death in S Arabia in 2007, Rizana Nafeek's life hangs by a thread
by Melani Manel Perera
06/06/2012 SRI LANKA
Social activists to Elizabeth II: For Diamond Jubilee, save Rizana Nafeek’s life
by Melani Manel Perera

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.