Friday, November 12, 2010

Prayers For Rizana

BBC Sinhala.Com 01 Nov 2010

Thousands of Muslims in Trincomalee gathered for a
 special payer service for the Sri Lankan maid
sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia.
Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan housemaid, was arrested in May 2005
on charges of killing an infant in her care.
Last week her death sentence was upheld by Riyadh's
Supreme Court and awaits ratification from
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
“We are asking the god to fill the hearts and minds of the infant’s
 parents with compassion and sympathy,” a social worker who
participated in the prayer service in Muttur, Kabir Mohamed Taafic
 told Sandeshaya.
Parents pardon
“Nothing could be done unless the child’s parents pardon Rizana,
if they do that Rizana can be freed from the death sentence” he said.
Rizana had originally confessed to the killing the four-month-old
Saudi boy in 2005
but later retracted her statement saying it had been made
under duress. She was a minor-
17 years old- at the time this happened and been in custody since 2005.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has already appealed to the
King asking him to exercise clemency
 towards Rizana and many international human rights
organisation, including
Amnesty International are also campaigning on behalf of her.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sri Lanka Committee To Recommend Proposals On Death Row Convicts

The Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister has appointed a three-member committee to recommend the commutation to life sentences of 400 convicts who are on death row.
The committee has also been asked to examine which of the 400 convicts on death row should be pardoned and released.
The Committee is headed by retired High Court Judge Hector Yapa and it has been asked to submit it report at the earliest, after examining the possibilities of granting a pardon to most of the convicts who have served many years in prison.
Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera has said that once he receives the recommendations, and after consulting with the President, he would submit a Cabinet paper to implement the recommendations.