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* Sri Lankan housemaid executed in Saudi Arabia
Wed, Jan 9, 2013, 07:38 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 09, Colombo: Saudi Arabia Wednesday beheaded Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek who was sentenced to death for murdering the son of her Saudi employer despite calls from all over the world to spare her life.

Nafeek was beheaded in the Dawadmi province near the capital Riyadh, AFP reported.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau Amal Senadhilankara has confirmed the execution of Nafeek from the information received from Riyadh.

Human Rights Watch in a statement condemned the execution of Nafeek, who was 17 at the time of the crime, and said "Saudi Arabia should recognize, as the rest of the world long has, that no child offender should ever be put to death."

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent an appeal to King Abdullah on January 6, 2013, requesting a stay of the execution until a settlement can be reached between the baby's family and a Saudi reconciliation committee.

The Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Abdulaziz bin Abdul-rahman Al Jammaz, has recently raised hope for Nafeek's pardon when he informed the Sri Lanka Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem a pardon was under consideration of a request made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Azeez, and also due to legal considerations.

Nafeek, who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged crime, had gained employment in Riyadh as a domestic worker through an employment agency that changed her age on the official documents to make it appear that she was 23 years old in order to be eligible for employment.

On 16 June 2007, she was sentenced to death by a court in Dawadmi. In 2010, Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court upheld her conviction and death sentence.

The case received wide international attention and several human rights organizations have asked the Saudi authorities to pardon the housemaid who was underage at the time.



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