A young Sri Lankan woman has been executed with a sword in a small, dusty town in Saudi Arabia, thousands of miles from the lush jungles and idyllic beaches of the country where she grew up.

Rizana Nafeek arrived in Saudi Arabia in 2005.

Authorities executed her Wednesday in Dawadmi, about 200 kilometers west of the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

She spent her first few weeks in Saudi Arabia working as a housemaid to earn money to support her relatives back home, who had been displaced by the massive tsunami in the Indian Ocean the year before.

She found herself plunged into the unfamiliar, unfriendly and — according to many human rights advocates — unfair Saudi legal system.

In cases where the death penalty is possible, “defendants are rarely allowed formal representation by a lawyer and in many cases are kept in the dark about the progress of legal proceedings against them,” Amnesty International says.

Nonetheless, human rights groups and the Sri Lankan government lobbied Saudi authorities to release her, or at the very least show some leniency in her complicated case.

They argued that the courts had failed to take into account Nafeek’s birth certificate, which showed she was only 17 at the time of the baby’s death in 2005, making her too young to receive the death penalty under international law.

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The passport she used to enter the country, which said she was 23 at the time, was inaccurate and had been falsified, they said.

Additionally, she had not had access to lawyers during her pre-trial interrogation during which she said she was assaulted and forced to sign a confession under duress, rights groups pointed out.

Right up until the end, they pointed out that the dead boy’s family could still grant Nafeek a pardon or request blood money as compensation.

But those arguments and others, as well as numerous visits by Sri Lankan ministers and members of Nafeek’s family, failed to sway Saudi authorities.

The interior ministry statement announcing the execution began with a verse from the Quran, according to SPA, the official Saudi News agency: “O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder.”

The death penalty for Nafeek had been approved by the Supreme Court, the agency reported, and a “high order was issued” to carry out the sentence.

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The Sri Lankan government and human rights groups have sharply criticized Saudi Arabian authorities for the beheading of Nafeek.

It shows “once more how woefully out of step they are with their international obligations regarding the use of the death penalty,” said Philip Luther, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, who had made personal appeals for clemency in Nafeek’s case, said he and his government deplored the decision to go ahead with the execution. Lawmakers in the Sri Lankan parliament observed a minute of silence Wednesday to mourn her death.

But her case appears to be far from a one off occurrence.

Many of the people executed in Saudi Arabia in recent years have been foreign citizens, according to Amnesty International, most of them “migrant workers from poor and developing countries.”

In 2012, Amnesty said it had recorded at least 79 executions in the country, 27 of them of foreigners.

Saudi Arabia also has a history of carrying out the death penalty on people convicted of committing crimes when they were children, according to Human Rights Watch.

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“Rizana was just a child herself at the time of the baby’s death, and she had no lawyer to defend her and no competent interpreter to translate her account,” said Nisha Varia, senior women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Saudi Arabia should recognize, as the rest of the world long has, that no child offender should ever be put to death.”

The family said she had strangled the boy, Kayed bin Nayef bin Jazyan al-Otaibi, after being asked to bottle feed him. Nafeek said the infant accidentally choked on milk.

According to the information gathered by Naija Center, the girl was sent to Saudi Arabia when she was 17yrs old. The parents forged her birth certificate in order to travel to the country. Saudi Arabia government jailed her for 5 years, this according to information was to make sure she reaches the age that she could be executed


culled from cnn


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14 Responses to "17-years old Sri Lankan girl beheaded in Saudi Arabia"

  1. Silvia Casciato  January 14, 2013

    now everything is finished . i hope shriya and allah .drink blood of innocent rizzanas ,this is the meaning of sharia law

  2. Silvia Casciato  January 14, 2013

    look peoples. this is the allah law. allah and devil same. killing innocent peoples this fuckin sharia law. killing many innocent poor peoples.dont speack about shariya law in side our mothe land SRI LANKA we will fuck to every bad muslimes

  3. Chaney C  January 12, 2013

    we will kill a Saudi pig in Sri Lanka for this!!!!!!

    • Nasir Arifeen  January 13, 2013

      First we should get our systems right. We cannot change their law by hiding our mistakes. According to Rizana’s passport, she was 24/25 at the time she left Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan government inlcuding president did their utmost for her release but according to Saudi Law.. even the king cannot reverse the verdict unless the parents do so.

      Who changed her date of birth and sent her to Saudi????? punish them!!!!

      • Chandi Kalansooriya  January 14, 2013

        Yes. We should. But the innocent girl won’t get the life from that. That’s what the majority mean here. You, your God and Sharia law cannot understand that.

  4. Judy Burnett  January 11, 2013

    oh my God!!!!!!!!! this is so terrible o, really terrible, how could her parents go against the law to falsify her birth certificate to get this poor minor girl herself to enter Saudi Arabia itself? Nawa abeg make am punish those parents for doing such things in the first place that poor girl had no business to even be there jor. God will deal with them severely this i assure you !! 🙁 so sad , poor girl

  5. Nasir Arifeen  January 11, 2013

    Dear All,

    She was 17 at the time she left Sri Lanka in 2005/2006. However, owing to poverty her parents along with her recruiting agency changed her date of birth to show that she is 25 in order to go overseas.

    Unfortunately, even though she was not … but treated as an adult

    • sandra achum  January 11, 2013

      Oh really? But how come the news said 17 years old girl beheaded. in 2005, she should be more than 20 years right? so why 17 years old?

      Her parents should be blamed. Though you talked of poverty, it’s not enough to send an under age girl into an indirect slavery. The question is, did she really commit the crime she was accused of? who was there? who was the witness? why wasn’t the baby’s parents questioned how a housemaid turned to nanny?

      I have a lot of questions to ask if anyone would answer.

      • Mohommed Aslam  January 12, 2013

        You are right sandra achum… must find what happened? how it happened? did she really kill that baby?…………

        In Saudi Arabia all the law for foreigners to Saudies….

    • Silvia Casciato  January 14, 2013

      pako to tpey ekaka kugey balla kapuwahama ohomada kataha karanney hutto mona pakey nitiyakada eky ubey ammgey nitiyada lankwey idan lankwata kapana kari tambiya topey niti gana ghin kiyapia sudi wala

  6. Nadia Jamal  January 11, 2013

    Omg poor liitle girl. But definetly i blame the parents

    • Zeeshan Z. Khan  January 12, 2013

      Exactly (y)

  7. sandra achum  January 11, 2013

    They do not have respect for their own lives, how would they have respect for other people’s life. i blame the parents that sent a 12yrs old girl to slavery. What kind of poverty is that?

  8. Victoria Singam  January 11, 2013

    it’s damn cruelsome!!!!!


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