Dec 24, Colombo: External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka Prof. G.L. Peiris has in writing requested his Saudi Arabian counterpart not to carry out Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek's death sentence.
Secretary of External Affairs Ministry Karunathilaka Amunugama has said the Minister had asked the Saudi authorities no to carry out the verdict on sympathy grounds.
Amunugama has noted that every attempt was being made to stop the execution even though the case has come to its final stages.
The President had already made an appeal to the King of Saudi Arabia, but the King is unable to grant a pardon.
The External Affairs Ministry Secretary has said the Minister had reiterated that Nafeek was too young and she had no idea about infant care.
Rizana Nafeek was sentenced to death for murdering the son of her Saudi employer, a four month old baby boy. The incident took place on May 22, 2005, while the accused maid was bottle-feeding the infant. Rizana claims the baby accidentally choked while the parents claim she committed premeditated murder.
Nafeek, who was 17 years old at the time, had gained employment in Riyadh as a domestic worker through an employment agency that changed her age on an official documentation, to make it appear that she was 23 years old in order to be eligible for employment.
The case has received international attentions and several human rights organizations have asked the Saudi authorities to pardon the house maid.