Sunday, July 29, 2007

Saudis Set to Behead Teenage Baby Sitter

Rizana Nafeek

17 years old Muslim girl from Sri Lanka.

Sent to Saudi Arabia as a nanny.

She was assigned 10 children to look after.

Had to get up 3AM to work until late at night.

She has been accused of strangling a four month old infant in Saudi Arabia.

She was then sentenced a death penalty of beheading according to the Saudi Arabian High Court.

No one knows whether she committed the crime or not.

Rizana Nafeek and family

Their house

In contravention of the UN charter on the rights of the child, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to behead a Sri Lankan maid who at the time of the incident was 17 years old. Yesterday she lost her appeal. Large numbers of very poor Sri Lankans travel to Middle Eastern countries seeking employment, without proper understanding of the implications of sharia law.

Rizana Nafeek, a Muslim teenager is supposed to have not had legal representation at her trial and the sharia court has upheld the beheading decision based on a confession which she claims she never made. She is accused of killing a baby she was bottle-feeding, which she claims was a choking incident that occurred despite her desperate attempts to clear the baby's air passage.

Saudi Arabia enjoys cordial relations with the United States because of its monarch's close ties with the Bush family -- this despite most of the 9/11 hijackers having been native to Saudi Arabia, and numerous reports of human rights violations.

Watch You Tube movie here

You Can Take Action: Go To Save Rizana Webiste

Today's Sri Lanka Sunday Times editorializes:

Somehow the plight of young Rizana Nafeek, the 19-year-old teen from the war-ravaged, poverty-stricken Eastern Province of Sri Lanka now on death row in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not kindled the outrage it ought to have -- and would have -- in most other countries. Certainly not within the Government. Her story is a saga in itself.

Read the entire editorial here

Amnesty International is raising urgent concern over the plight of Rizana Nafeek at a time when executions in Saudi Arabia have increased rapidly. In the first six months of this year nearly 100 people in the Kingdom have already been executed, including three women.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

'The death penalty is always wrong but it is an absolute scandal that Saudi Arabia is preparing to behead a teenage girl who didn't even have a lawyer at her trial.

'The Saudi authorities are flouting an international prohibition on the execution of child offenders by even imposing a death sentence on a defendant who was reportedly 17 at the time of the alleged crime.

'Rizana's execution must be stopped and she must be allowed proper legal representation. Saudi Arabia should also freeze all further executions and stop what has become a torrent of judicial killing in recent months.'

Read Amenesty International's report and Action Alert

Child Rights Information Network Reports...

In January 2006 Saudi Arabia assured the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child that no children had been executed in the country since the children's convention came into force in Saudi Arabia in 1997.

Half of these have been foreign nationals, mostly from poor countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2006 Saudi Arabia was known to have executed 39 people (though the true figure may have been higher), the seventh highest number in the world. This year the execution 'rate' is approximately five times higher than last year's, and Saudi Arabia is now likely to have one of the highest execution tolls for 2007 of any country in the world.

Read the entire report from Child Rights Information Network here

Read the Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding death penalty


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