In the wake of the pardon given to an Indonesian housemaid who was sentenced to death on murder charges in Saudi Arabia, the Sri Lankan government and social service organizations on Friday renewed their appeal for clemency for Rizana Nafeek, who is currently awaiting execution in the Kingdom.
Darsem binti Dawud Tawar, an Indonesian maid who was convicted of murdering her employer, returned to Jakarta on Wednesday following a pardon given by the kin of her victim.
The maid from Subang, West Java, was convicted in May 2009 and sentenced to death despite her plea that she killed the victim in self-defense during attempted rape. The Indonesian government paid $534,884 in blood money to secure the pardon.
“President Mahinda Rajapaksa is deeply concerned about Nafeek's case,” Sri Lanka Parliamentarian Abdul Hameed Mohammed Azwer told Arab News on Friday from Colombo.
“While we express our regret to the parents over the death of the baby in Nafeek's care, we also wish to make an appeal to them and the government of Saudi Arabia to take into consideration the circumstances surrounding her employment as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia,” Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, and the Rev. Norbert M. Andradi, the group's secretary-general, said in a joint statement issued in Colombo.
Nafeek claims the four-month-old infant choked during bottle feeding, but the family said she murdered the baby. The courts found Nafeek guilty and sentenced her to death based on a hadd ruling — a hadd ruling is one specifically prescribed in the Qur'an: decapitation if the next of kin of the victim does not forgive the crime and accept blood money.
The state cannot force a pardon, as it is a private right and therefore the family must pardon Nafeek or come to a blood-money settlement through reconciliation efforts.
“It is with great sense of gladness that I read in Arab News of the pardoning of Darsem binti Dawud Tawar,” said Lankan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ahmed A. Jawad. “This gracious act symbolizes the generous nature of the Saudi people. I am optimistic that Rizana Nafeek too would similarly be given her freedom by the parents of the infant.”
We react to this very strongly without any parallel to any other incident as this is a unique case where an under aged girl is punished for 'murder'!
Pryanga Saturday, 16 July 2011 01:52 PM
Wish their king was Mahinda. Then all killers will get forgiveness.
Yehiya-Doha Saturday, 16 July 2011 02:25 PM
Govt. approach is wrong. If better to go through the chief Imam of Grand mosque of Makkah to parent of death child.
Yasmin Saturday, 16 July 2011 10:46 PM
Why doesn't the government take action against those who sent her to the kingdom of Saudi changing her true age??? I know right now that is not the most important thing with regard to saving Rizana, but if proper action is taken, then it will discourage other agents and those involved from doing such acts. But SL being SL I doubt any action will be taken and followed up on. SAD!
Manel Monday, 18 July 2011 03:54 AM
I have personal knowledge about Saudis and they are not very religious although they try to show that they are religious.
nawala nihal Monday, 18 July 2011 04:10 AM
why not re wirte the quran...?
Banda Wednesday, 20 July 2011 07:13 AM
Roshan Monday, 18 July 2011 05:15 AM
Why re write the Quran?, is everything in Sri Lanka is done according to Lord Buddha's preaching?
Abdul Saturday, 16 July 2011 06:47 AM
As a muslim if someone asks forgiveness for a mistake, they should be forgiven, although there is second option, Quran says it is better to be forgiven, but unfortunately this parent seem to be adamant, I wish someone could teach Islam and explain to them, the parent has set a very bad example, and the Indonesian's release has nothing to do with this, the decision is not a government level, they are the decisions of two or three individual citizens of Saudi
fazli Sunday, 17 July 2011 08:57 AM
Let good sence prevail.
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