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Last updated: 11 July, 2007 - Published 12:30 GMT
 
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Rizana: Have your say
 
Rizana Nafeek, a nineteen year old Sri Lankan house maid, was convicted of strangling a four month old infant in Saudi Arabia.

She was then sentenced a death penalty of beheading according to the Saudi Arabian High Court.

Rizana's family
Rizana has left for Saudi to help her poor family in the east

The Sri Lankan girl, then seventeen years old, went to Saudi Arabia on the 1st of May with high hopes of earning a living in order to help her family who were living in poverty.

She was still a schoolgirl studying at Sapi Nagar School. Her first thoughts at her tender age were a nice house and a good education for her family.

Saudi authorities beheaded four Sri Lankans earlier this year despite repeated appeals by international human rights groups.

Have your say.


This forum is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

We could see now the law maintenance of Sri Lanka and the role of Foreign employment bureau. From 1977 when the then Govt. started sending housemaids from Sri Lanka to wash the toilets and gutters of Saudi Arabia, the family and morale attitudes started deteriorating . Now it is the climax. Politicians are liable to these kind of events .
Devaka S Jayasuriya, Ottawa, Canada

If we are sending migrant workers at least the government must make sure they are properly trained and not exploited by foreign countries and agents in this manner. There are countless horror stories of what happens to our migrant workers. nothing is done about it.
Rochelle Wickramaratchi

 From 1977 when the then Govt. started sending housemaids from Sri Lanka to wash the toilets and gutters of Saudi Arabia, the family and morale attitudes started deteriorating . Now it is the climax. Politicians are liable to these kind of events
 
Deavaka Jayasuriya, Canada

It is very sad to hear this story.But this is not the first time somthing happen like this and it will be not the last time.very unfair.hope she will be free and i wish all the best Rizana.
Saleshka de Silva, Zurich, Switzerland

The King of Saudi Arabia able to help this poor girl if his majesty a kind person.
Niyaz Burah, Paris, France

As a judge I feel this verdict is very unreasonable. In a trial court should follow rules of Natural Justice and it hves been blatently violeted. Thus, international community should intravene these kind of excutions and fair trial should be reordered. So, I urge Honorouble King of Saudi Arabia "Please hand over this accused to Sri Lanka and Court of Sri Lanka would mete the justice Promptly if she is the culprit of this infant".
Sumudu Premachandra, District Judge, Anuradhapura

after reading some of the e-mails i was realy dissapointed, because at this miniute what we sri lankans should do is to condem saudi government for it's brutality with out pointing the finger at anyone else for political reasons.May Rizna be freed and live a long life with joy.
Marlan Janz, Edgware, UK

Capital punishment is something that should be exercised very carefully if not removed completely. There are so many incidents that those who are well deserved for such punishment go escaping it. In this particular case I can not see any justice to punish a kid so brutally who went to help a very poor family.
Chandra Galappatti, Canberra, Australia

Ms. Rizana. If she young or old, If she got proper trail or not, If justice don or not, Already victim also child, Her parents also grieving. This time not suitable for argument, But, we need to safe her life. Please visit the ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION urgent appeal. http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2007/2475/
Mohamed Ali, Riyadh, Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan President should involve in this case and To stop sending female Domestic workers to middle east countries.
Niyaz Burah, France

It was the Asian Hman Rights Commission that retained and paid for the lawyer for this case - along with fund collected from private citizens the world over. The SL government had nothing to do with it.. Mr Bhaila is trying to make some political mileage here.
S Dhanapala, Toronto, Canada

It is a shame that the Sri Lankan government is activating itself to plead clemency for this girl literally on the eve of her death. Where was the Government all this time. The Foreign Minister and Employment Minister should have taken up her cases months ago. Typical apathy on the part of the Government!
Tina Edwards Gunawardene, London, UK

No body knows how the death has really occurred as Rizana was not provided with legal assistance. Any how death is not a punishment in this modern world. Rehabilitation camps are in all the countries to rehabilitate people. All should appeal to get release this girl.
Thilak Fernando, Maurituis

 How this poverty comes to our beautiful tropical island? Who is to be finger pointed? None other than heds of all previous and current governments. We are in the third decade of civil war disaster and no peace at all.
 
Shiraz Abdul Gafoor, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

This is a lesson for all the child labour recruiters to be punished and same time government authorities should bring in front of justice because forgery of documentation.How this poverty comes to our beautiful tropical island? Who is to be finger pointed? None other than heds of all previous and current governments. We are in the third decade of civil war disaster and no peace at all.
Shiraz Abdul Gafoor, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

She is another victim of our foolish governments. They are sending women and men as slaves to undercivilized countries to earn and boast about economic growth. These women are paid around 100$ per month. But with this little foring currency politicians play around. If they love the country they should, 1) not send anybody as housemaids to middle east. 2) Should send only educated or skilled workers to countries with laws to protect human rights.
Jnk, Sweden

I think SL gov should take firm action against the women slavery in meddle east. International community must help on this regards I do not know the reason for Saudi legal system being so brutal and unequal.
Vijith Withana, Agalawatta, Sri Lanka

It is a very inhumane attitude shown by the Saudis.From what I have read, she had no proper defense counsel and we are talking about a kid here, and a very poor and desperate one at that. Appears that the parents would take the money and pardon her. Is this SHARIA law or just greed, with no compassion for a human being ?
CK, Burlington, Canada

Justice is for the strong and rich. When you are poor and weak, what justice can you expect?
Sunil Perera, Singapore

She is a Muslim and Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country. As she is a Muslim she is bound by Sharia law. Now some Sri Lankan Muslims want the government to help, but Muslims dont complain when they get free dates from Saudi.
Niththi, Colombo

Rizana's photograph in the passport
Rizana was born in 1988. Her DoB has been changed in the passport.

This is a very pathetic issue. The innocent girl was the victim of extreme poverty. It is the duty of the civilized world to intervene in this matter and save the life of this girl.
Priyantha Kulasekara, Canada

Like India, Sri Lankan government should only allow educated individuals to go to the Middle Eastern countries for employment. This would prevent the abuse of housemaids. Sri Lankan government and the corporate sector should find ways to find employment for these individuals in Sri Lanka. Not only do these women get treated badly in these countries but there is a high social costs when mothers leave their children behind to seek employment in the Middle East.
M Fernando, Canada

It is high time Sri Lankan government stop sending women as slaves for these type of lawless countries.
Thiwanka Wimalasuriya, Colombo, Sri Lanka

After few weeks Rizana will be in history and every body forget this incident. This is the best time to think about female migrant workers and stop sending them as house maids. If not again and again we will have same stories like Rizana.
Prasanna Samaranayake, Gampaha, Sri Lanka

They say they are implementing gods law, but how they implement is very bias towards Asians.They will bring all sort of false accusations irespective of whether the crime is commited or not.I feel they are selling the gods religion.
Asif Rasool

It is absolutely barbaric that in this day and age this barbaric form of punishment exists, especially when this case can never be Murder without any doubt.
Sally Anne Hamath, Norfolk

This kind of punishment not only brutal but also inhuman because we are in a modern world.
Indika Wickramasinghe, Victoria, Seyshells

 Sri Lankan government should immediately stop women slavery in meddle east
 
Jayantha, Albany, USA

The rest of the world should isolate the countries like saudi arabia if they do not change their brutal legal system.
Pete Perera, Canada

It is pathatic.She have made all the way due to her poverty.I think she should be a student not a labour. Serious actions should be taken agaist the agent who sent her, making forge documents. People and the govt.should understand the principle behind the rule, CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE EMPLOYED. further more government should take the responsibility of lacking equality. Least they have failed to satify the basic needs of poor.
Insaf Hameed, Kandy, Sri Lanka

It is a sad fact that these poor people who go to work in the middle-east in the hope of earning some money are treated like vermin, worked like slaves and return with nothing. I have met and spoken to people who have suffered in those countries. The Sri Lankan Government should do more to protect its citizens. They should stop these rogue agencies who send under-age children to work abroad.
Bimal, london, UK

It is interesting to note that Westerners who break Saudi laws are treated differently to the poor Asians.
Shaik Ahamath, UK

Remittances made by Sri Lankan in the middle east are a major source of foreign exchange for the couuntry and as such the government of Sri Lanka must have a pro active representation in the middle eastern countries. It has always beeen that by the time our country get involved, it is a bit too late. Do we have enough able staff in our embassy in Saudi Arabia?
Don Jayasinghe, NY, USA

 It is interesting to note that Westerners who break Saudi laws are treated differently to the poor Asians
 
Shaik Ahamath, UK

Sri Lankan government should immediately stop women slavery in meddle east.
Jayantha, Albany, USA

Im asking all around the Muslim world is this the justice which is expressing in whole Kuran. Personally I have the experience in here how the people are behaving, how they are respecting to the other nations. I had to know regard to this incidence, that her in charging house owners has treated in too badly and this is not only to her, the majority house mates who are working in Saudi Arabia facing same difficulties and abuse by their owners.
Ruchika Sampath Saudi Arabia, Al-Khobar

I dont understand, why muthur public are so unlucky. over two decades they are suffering from violation of tamil tigers, tsunami and mostly poverty. we have to think why rizana should go to saudi as a maid on that age?. if anybody have visited to muthur you will definitely feel it. the srilankan government may help if she is from one of the well off family or one of the family member of politicians. there is no difference between saudi arabian arrogance and srilankan government.
Zacky Yubunu, London, UK

The Scales of Justice must always be tempered with Mercy. This little girl may have made a mistake and a terrible one at that. But then again she is also only a child. Are the parents of the dead child asking for Revenge or Justice? Will they be satisfied by killing another child. Will it bring back the lost life? Are the parents of the dead child not responsible as well? for this situation?
Gyan de Mel, Melbourne, Australia

 Rizana has been neglected by her country the government must take full responsibility also the agency that sent an underage girl for domastic work must be charged
 
Bob Preen, USA

Rizana has been neglected by her country the government must take full responsibility also the agency that sent an underage girl for domastic work must be charged and closed down most probablythis same agency would have sent many more under age girls.
Bob Preen, USA

Who are the concern authorities please pardon for this innocent and poor girl.
Galle Liyanage Pathmasiri de Silva, Dubai

First of all I must Thank the BBC for giving a wide publicity for this matter. Justice will never prevail in this matter as this child is in Saudi Arabia. No one will hear her side of the story. Once I was visiting Jeddah and took a Taxi. The driver was a middle age Saudi who was wearing a white robe like Jesus and highly intoxicated. He was not only drinking and driving but also drinking while driving. (In Saudi there are no known or legal liquor shops)

I was very worried about the safety of myself, this good idiot driver and the other innocent people on the road and asked him to stop the taxi and wanted to get off. He never stopped and I yelled at him to stop. Finally he stopped near a police vehicle and told some thing to the police officers in a weird language. After that I was arrested and try to put in a Jail. (Probably I would have been beheaded for obstructing a hit and run killing to happen) Likely I had a friend of mine who work for the Saudi Royal family and got out of that police cell.

The drunken driver just walked away and I tried to explain the police that he was drunk but they never believed me. Within minutes this Saudi Driver was back on the street driving the same taxi. The problem here is not the Sri Lankan government or the child who was accused for killing a child. It is mainly to blame the corrupted Saudi justice system. Sri Lanka is a country with lots of poverty and a lot of ministers and ministries. If this child would have to live in Sri Lanka she would have been abducted by the LTTE to work as a child solder or if not she will die on hunger as she is from a very poor family. What we need here is an International awareness of Corrupted Saudi Judicial System.
Ahinsaka Kossinne, Vancouver, Canada

Death sentence is wrong for any crime. however, she is not innocent. Age of 17 or 21 that is more than enough to know what she is doing. Since she is not an innocent she should be punished. but not with death sentence.
Raj Paandy, Markham, Canada

The Sri Lankan Govt should have had a lawyer and a translater representing this little girl from day one. Is this the way Sri Lanka protects its citizens?
Oswin M De Alwis, Australia

 The problem here is not the Sri Lankan government or the child who was accused for killing a child. It is mainly to blame the corrupted Saudi justice system. Sri Lanka is a country with lots of poverty and a lot of ministers and ministries. If this child would have to live in Sri Lanka she would have been abducted by the LTTE to work as a child solder or if not she will die on hunger as she is from a very poor family. What we need here is an International awareness of Corrupted Saudi Judicial System
 
Ahinsaka Kossinne, Vancouver, Canada

A death of a child is unbearable to any family and certainly can understand the situation of the infants parents. Can they forgive Rizana, a child in her own right for what has happened? Is taking away another child's life is the answer? A child is a child. What happens now to the people who forged Rizana's details to send her to Saudi Arabia? With all the crying aloud, what will the Sri Lankan government do to prevent children being sent overseas as workers?
Dileepa, Hamilton, Bermuda

There are worse people in this world who deserves death sentence than this innocent girl.
Padma Fernando, Dubai

This is extremely sad. The poor and the powereless have no voice in Sri Lanka nor in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian law system is cruel and right groups have long accused the system for the use of torture - again as in Sri Lanka. The girl is doomed - to have been in the mercy of these 2 countries. We will never get to hear her side of the story or the cruelty of the employers who could have overworked her. The mother of the baby should be held responsible as well. Bottlefeeding can be risky when it comes to young infants and when it's done my somebody inexperienced/tired/tramautised!
Janani, Australia

Yet another sad story from the Middle East!!! Infact this is the saddest I've heard. This girl went in search of greener pastures for the betterment of her poor family and is now facing the worst possible nightmare in her life.
Dilrukshie, Markham, Canada

In my view it was a tragedy and not a crime. Because the maid Rizana did not commit or intend to commit.There is no direct evidence against her. Rizanas trial does not meet international standards for a fair trial. She was not provided a lawyer .She did not have the help of a translator or anyone else to whom she could explain what had happened. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life, one of the most fundamental human rights. I understand that it needs to combat violent crime. However, the death penalty has never been shown to have a unique deterrent effect and is brutalizing to all involved. If the execution is carried out, it will only cause more suffering for the relatives of Rizana.
Shankarlaal, Germany

The whole world should isolate country's who has such laws, like what they did to South Africa.
Viraj, Sri Lanka

I really feel sorry for this girl. The socio-economic problems in the country in general & in NE provinces in particular pushed the parents of this girl to send her off to a foreign land to work as a house maid at such a tender age. We really do not know whether the child in her care was killed by her or not. Whatever it is the SL government should make every possible effort to save her given her young age.
Ahamed, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

First of all, this is our government's fault that our citizens should not be allowed to work as slaves in middle east countries for a little income.Saudi or other middle east countries may be rich but they are far behind in human civilization and the humanity.Government should respect our citizens.
Sara Nam, London

All the international bodies should put pressure to saudi government not to behead the innocent Rizana Nafeek.
Mohamed Jamshad, Melbourne, Australia

This is a tragedy for both the accused and the victims family. My humble request to the parents of the victim is for God sake give this girl a clemency and let her live. To those who accuse the justice system in Saudi Arabia: think about the justice system in our country that let this little girl to embark on an adventure like this and the meanness of the parents, employment agency and all others involved.
Reza Mohamed, Nawalapitiya, Sri Lanka

sl government must take the full responsibility since the government has allowed such a corrupted job agencies to exist in the country
shan gunatillake, moratuwa, sri lanka

I do not know the reason for Saudi legal system being so brutal and unequal. I heard this girl was not provided even proper legal representation. It is so sad as a child she was forced to nurse for another child. Even some body give million Dollars, I would not go to work in Middle East.
Ravi Ratnasingham, Toronto, Canada

It is extremely hard to believe that justice will be done in a country like Saudi Arabia. No one believes that this is actually murder. Funny thing is that the judiciary is willing to pardon the girl if some large amount of cash is paid to the mother of the dead baby.
Senvencho, UK

Educate housemades aboutthelaw,provide the grounds to respect their privacy,provide fasilities to contact their families@labour athorities,if unhappy change their workplaces, practical codes for their bosses,clear and correct picture of their work place and due duties before leaving the country.
Dhamith Jayawardena, London, UK

This innocnet child is another victim of the unjustified war in Sri Lanka. The Singhala, Tamil perpetrators of the war are equaly responsible for this child's fate. It is them who should be punished.
Rengan Devarajan, Ilford, UK

I am deeply thanking full in my hard to sandesiya sinhala sewaya because bring to the world regarding this Innocent metter of Rizana Nafeeq.
Abul Hassan (Moulavi), Riyadh

This whole story about Rizana Nafeek is sad. I worked in Saudi Arabia about 2 years and I think it is a nice place to work and I enjoy my time there. I understand their culture and the nature of their life. I certainly respected their values and equally they respected mine. During my time there I have met a few Sri Lankan who worked as labours their, I think the life they have there is not great but most of them are there because they could not find any job in Sri Lanka. I am not sure what is SL government is doing to provide better life and protection for their citizen? I have not seen our labour minister has done anything to save here life?
Shan, London, UK

Sri Lankan Government should take full responsibly for this, since authorities had allowed to change the Date of Birth of that poor girl. Look what happen now. Stop the corruption to avoid any future mishaps.
Loke T, Toronto, Canada

Death sentence must be avoided to this young girl, who has a better future.
Ehalaivan, Lund, Sweden

I doubt that the girl could have 'murdered' the baby. There is a difference between a murder and killing. Hope justice will prevail in this matter.
Dr.Kathir Jeya Kathirvel, Brooklyn, USA

 
 
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LOCAL LINKS
Family weeps for youngster in Saudi
04 July, 2007 | Sandeshaya
"Appeal has to be done soon"
03 July, 2007 | Sandeshaya
"Appeal" against beheading
25 June, 2007 | Sandeshaya
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