The Sri Lankan parliament observed a minute silence in her memory after being informed of the executionRizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic worker convicted of killing a baby in her care in 2005 when she was 17, has been executed, according to the External Affairs Ministry in Colombo.
It was earlier reported that the Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry under Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has issued instructions for Nafeek’s execution.
The Saudi Arabian government has gone ahead with her execution despite assurances as late as last week from Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia that she would be released, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Sri Lankan parliament observed a minute silence in her memory after JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti informed the House about the excution, according to Sunday Times online.
Director General Public Communication Anzul Jhan told Timesonline that she was executed around 11.40 am Saudi time.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa also 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.
Nafeek had been working in Saudi Arabia for two weeks in 2005 when the Utaibi family’s four-month-old baby died in her care.
Nafeek retracted a confession that she said was made under duress and said that the baby died in a choking accident while drinking from a bottle.
Saudi authorities had incarcerated Nafeek in Dawadmi prison since 2005.
Rizana Nafeek, the Sri Lankan maid imprisoned at Saudi Arabia's Dawadami Prison since 2005, may be executed any time now, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) reports Ceylon Today.
Dr. Kifaya Iftekhar, who is based in Saudi Arabia and has been looking after the interests of Rizana for several years now, told BBC Sinhala Service that the Sri Lankan Government has been informed by the Saudi authorities of the possibility of her impending execution.
"The Sri Lankan Government has been reporting that moves are underway for Rizana's release for several months now and that this may happen any time. However, it appears that these announcements were made only to appease the strong expressions of concern by the Sri Lankan and international community who are calling for her release. The government has not been able to conduct diplomatic negotiations with the family of the deceased infant, which has the power to grant a pardon. Such pardon is usually granted either on the payment of blood money or without such payment by the generosity of the family," the AHRC statement pointed out.
Dr. Iftekhar told the BBC Sinhala Service there is still room for assisting Rizana and saving her life.
The AHRC has campaigned for Rizana's release since 2007, when her case was brought to the notice of the world. "A vast movement arose within Sri Lanka to demand her release and there was also massive support for her release from the human rights community and particularly from women's movements. Many signature campaigns were conducted on her behalf and websites opened by various concerned groups to rally support for her," the statement said.
The AHRC called upon everyone to intervene and write to the Saudi authorities urging them to grant Rizana pardon.
Source: Emirates 24/7 : http://www.emirates247.com/news/sri-lanka/maid-rizana-nafeek-executed-in-saudi-arabia-2013-01-08-1.490276