The Sri Lankan government and President Mahinda Rajapaksa today deplored the execution of Miss Rizana Nafeek despite all efforts at the highest level of the government and the outcry of the people locally and internationally over the death sentence of a juvenile housemaid.
Issuing a statement the External Affairs Ministry said:
“It has been confirmed that Miss Rizana Nafeek was beheaded by Saudi authorities this morning at Dawadmy, Saudi Arabia.
The Sri Lankan housemaid was employed for less than 6 weeks in 2005 when she was charged by her Saudi employer for allegedly killing their infant while she was bottle feeding and thereafter sentenced to death in the year 2007.
The Government of Sri Lanka arranged for an appeal against the death sentence with the assistance of the Asian Human Rights Organization based in Hong Kong but the Superior Court of Saudi Arabia reconfirmed the death sentence.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a personal appeal on two occasions immediately after the confirmation of the death sentence and a few days ago to stop the execution and grant pardon to Miss Rizana Nafeek.
The Government of Sri Lanka pursued all avenues to have Miss Rizana Nafeek released from the death row and sent several Ministerial delegations that included the recent visits of Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Dilan Perera, the delegation led by Governor of Western Province, Alawi Moulana, religious leaders and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare and the Ministry of External Affairs. The Government of Sri Lanka had also arranged for the parents of Miss Nafeek to visit Saudi Arabia twice in 2008 and 2011 to see their daughter and also to perform Umra to pray for her release.
President Rajapaksa and the Government of Sri Lanka deplore the execution of Miss Rizana Nafeek despite all efforts at the highest level of the government and the outcry of the people locally and internationally over the death sentence of a juvenile housemaid.
President Rajapaksa and the Government of Sri Lanka convey their deepest condolences to the bereaved family and join the people of Sri Lanka who sympathize with the bereaved family on the loss of the life of Rizana.”