ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday February 24, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 39

Rizana’s case: No date yet for next hearing

The date for the next hearing of the appeal filed in the Saudi Arabian courts seeking a pardon for Sri Lankan domestic worker Rizana Nafeek, is yet to be given, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Hussein Bhaila said.

Rizana was convicted for allegedly strangling an infant under her care and the appeal against her death sentence was filed in July last year.“Although the Saudi Arabian Court is considering her appeal, progress has not being made nor has a date being given for the next hearing,” the Minister said.

Human rights activists who intervened on behalf of Rizana appealed to the Saudi Government to conduct a proper hearing into the case. Rizana has also made a statement that while she was trying to bottle feed the four month old infant in her care the child had choked and that she did not strangle the baby.

Rizana whose home town was Mutur had gone to Saudi Arabia in May 2005 at the age of 17 giving a false age on her passport. She was sentenced to death on June 16 by the Saudi Arabian High Court Earlier this month, Amnesty International raised concerns over the fate of Rizana amidst the increasing rate of executions in Saudi Arabia.

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