Sri Lanka will seek clarification from the Saudi Government on the arrest of a Sri Lankan woman who has been detained on charges that she had bewitched an Arab child, External Affairs Ministry officials said yesterday.
They said the Lankan mission in Riyadh had been instructed to ascertain from Saudi authorities the woman’s identity and the true nature of the charges and report back to Colombo. “This appears to be a case where the evidence is nowhere to be seen, and still if the woman is convicted she faces execution which should never be allowed to happen,” the officials said.
“We do not know her identity, her place of residence in Sri Lanka or where she is being held in Saudi Arabia,” the officials added.
According to Saudi media reports the Arab child behaved in an abnormal manner whenever the Lankan woman got close to her.
The child’s parents had later complained to the authorities and the woman was arrested. Saudi Arabia, a US ally is an absolute monarchy that has no written criminal code and where court rulings are based on judges’ interpretation of Islamic Shariah Law.
Death penalty is usually carried out by public beheading.
Meanwhile, officials with the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (ALFEA) said that they had got in touch with their counterparts in Riyadh to see what assistance could be provided to the Lankan woman.
“We are working with our Saudi counterparts and hope to get some results in the next few days,” ALFEA Secretary Faizer Mackeen said.