Saudis defend a maid's execution amist growing international criticism. The Sri Lankan maid, Rizana Nafeek, was beheaded after an infant died in her care. On Jan. 14 CNN shared the details on the outrage surrounding this situation.
Rizana Nafeek was executed last week despite human rights groups and the Sri Lankan government trying to achieve leniency for her. Nafeek was convicted of strangling her employers' son allegedly after she'd been asked to give him a bottle, though she said he'd choked on his milk. The infant died in 2005, and her advocates said she was 17 at the time of the infant's death. The Saudis defend the maid's execution, saying her official passport indicated she was 21 at the time of the baby's death. Saudi Arabia has signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says that offenders under 18 at the time of their crime cannot be executed.
CNN also notes that Saudi officials had urged the infant's family to agree to a payment or clemency instead of execution, but they refused. Human rights groups say that Nafeek did not have a lawyer during her pretrial interrogation and they believe she was assaulted and forced to sign a confession. Despite the efforts of human rights groups, Rizana Nafeek was beheaded and the Saudis defend the maid's execution.
The Saudi Press Agency said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia categorically rejects any interference in its affairs or in the provisions of its judiciary under any justifications.” Sri Lanka has now withdrawn its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, after the Sri Lankan president had asked Saudi's King Abdullah to stop the maid's execution, and he did not.