“The Sri Lanka President must fully make use of its diplomatic relationships, to save the innocent child victim Rizana Nafeek from the death penalty” said Action for Peace and Human Rights [APHR] in a media release today. While appreciating Sri Lankan Presidents immediate response to the Saudi Appeal Court judgment, the statement empathize the fact that the ineffective and corrupted laws in Sri Lanka had been able to discriminate the Rizana Nafeek at the age seventeen and sending her as a trained domestic servant to Saudi Arabia on a fraudulent passport passing immigrations offices of both countries”.
“Sri Lanka as well as Saudi Arabia are parties to the Convention of the Rights of the Child [CRC] which expressly prohibits execution of offenders committed when they were under 18 years old”. “There fore it is a constitutional responsibility of the both Heads of States to prevent the execution of Rezana Nafeek from Death Penalty.
Rezana Nafeek migrated to Saudi Arabia at the age of 17 in 2005 to work as a domestic helper. The available facts clearly confirmed that the death of the naive baby who died in the hands of Rezana was an accident, rather than a grave criminal act. At the time of the incident, Rezana had been at the age of 17 and she was not trained as a qualified professional baby sitter. Amnesty International, ADPAN, Asian Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Watch and others have raised concerns about Nafeek's access to lawyers and competent translators during her interrogation and trial. Though she was arrested in 2005, she did not have access to legal counsel until after a court in Dawadmi sentenced her to death in 2007. Nafeek has also retracted a confession that she said to have made under duress, and says that the baby died in a choking accident while drinking from a bottle. She apparently told the authorities that she was born in February 1988, but they seem to have ignored this on the basis that her passport indicated that she was born in February 1982. According to information available to the public, no medical examination is believed to have been carried out to ascertain her age, nor was she given the opportunity to present her birth certificate, which reportedly shows that she was born in 1988.
APHR is opposed the Death Penalty in all circumstances, because of its violating the fundamental right of persons to be free from subjected to torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.