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Saudi Arabia Beheads Domestic Worker Convicted of Killing Baby

World  (tags: 'HUMANRIGHTS!', freedoms, government, humanrights, Refugees&Relief, world, society, middle-east, HumanRights, ethics, death, children )

- 1986 days ago -
The Sri Lankan government had pleaded with Saudi officials to spare Rizana Nafeek, who was 17 and had been working in the country just a few weeks when a baby died in her care in 2005.She was among the hundreds of thousands of migrants who flock to Saudi

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JL A (281)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 9:31 am
Saudi Arabia beheads domestic worker convicted of killing baby

By Emily Alpert

January 9, 2013, 11:27 a.m.

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday beheaded a Sri Lankan woman who was convicted of killing a baby, putting the former domestic worker to death despite her young age at the time of the alleged crime.

The Sri Lankan government had pleaded with Saudi officials to spare Rizana Nafeek, who was 17 and had been working in the country just a few weeks when a baby died in her care in 2005. She was among the hundreds of thousands of migrants who flock to Saudi Arabia from countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines, toiling as domestic workers who cook, clean and care for children.

The young woman claimed the infant had choked to death while drinking from a bottle, retracting an earlier confession she said was obtained under duress, according to rights groups. Nafeek had no attorney to defend her until she had already been sentenced to beheading, they said.

"Rizana was just a child herself at the time," working in Saudi Arabia with documents falsified by recruiters, Human Rights Watch researcher Nisha Varia said Wednesday. "Saudi Arabia should recognize, as the rest of the world long has, that no child offender should ever be put to death."

Executing someone for crimes committed as a minor is a violation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Saudi Arabia is a part. The country has nonetheless executed convicts for crimes committed when they were younger than 18, some as young as 13, according to Human Rights Watch.

A Saudi court upheld the death sentence three years ago despite the efforts of the Sri Lankan government and human rights groups. Under the Saudi justice system, the parents of the dead baby could have chosen to pardon Nafeek or seek financial compensation instead, averting the execution.

Efforts had been made to sway the family through a reconciliation committee, and the government could have held off to allow more time for those discussions, Varia said, but it pressed ahead anyway. The Saudi Interior Ministry confirmed the execution Wednesday, giving no other details, the Associated Press reported.

The Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs said the government deplored the execution amid "the outcry of the people locally and internationally over the death sentence of a juvenile housemaid." Its parliament marked a minute of silence Wednesday in her memory.

Saudi Arabia employs more than 700,000 domestic workers, making it one of the biggest employers of such laborers in the world, the International Labor Organization said in a report released Wednesday.

Most are foreigners with scant education, rendering them especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. In Saudi Arabia, they routinely work more than 63 hours a week, the ILO found.

Amnesty International says their disadvantages follow them in the Saudi court system, where "a disproportionate number of foreign nationals, mainly migrant workers" have been sentenced to death in recent years.

Kit B (276)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 5:25 pm

Well there is nothing positive one can say about this. It is heartless and cruel, not to mention this is a brutal way to die. I don't condone the death penalty, I can't say that decreases crime or acts as deterrent to crime. Worse in this case, the young woman had no one to speak for her, we have no way of knowing what really happened. Accidents do happen, and this sounds like an accidental death ( for the baby).

JL A (281)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 5:36 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 6:50 am
A few days ago, dozens of foreigners were detained, they were celebrating with a calendar approaches.Saudi Arabia underdeveloped country, ruled by ignorant clerics.Noted ,Thanks J.L

Carola May (20)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 7:11 am
Why do our leaders pander to, bow to and appease these primitive barbarian bigots? Obama and Clinton have publicly condemned China's human rights record, but utter not a peep about Saudi Arabia where there are no human rights, no freedom of religion, conscience, speech or press. Compared to Saudi Arabia, China is a human rights paradise! (Just open your eyes and see how much US foreign policy mirrors Saudi interests. It should sicken us all.)

Saudi Arabia imports these desperate workers then abuses them terribly, treating some as virtual slaves. Slavery was outlawed there not long ago, but only in theory. Nepal has finally outlawed any of its women going to this awful place because so many of them have been so abused. It's time Sri Lanka and all the other countries whose women and men do the work the Saudis are too lazy to perform themselves, do the same.

This is the country that stones to death rape victims too, including a 14 y/o girl who was raped by her own brother and his drunken friends. She got pregnant, was forced to have the baby, then was taken out and stoned to death. Her brother and friends got nothing. And they have recently even slowly sliced off the heads of 2 'witches'!

Even more disgusting is that these barbaric murders are carried out to big crowds in 'Chop Chop Square' (as it is called) next to the main mosque and just before they all trek in for the big Friday prayers! How can anyone watch such horror and then worship a deity that demands such evil? Boggles the mind.

Jay S (116)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 7:22 am
We were just reading this morning how much influence the oil rich Saudis now have over the news media in the US and West, and how they are using that influence to censor any news they don't like about Islam and Islamic terrorism around the world daily. This should alarm us all, if we care about freedom and human rights!

They also have been quietly buying up large shares of major companies so they can influence the policies of the same. They have spent nearly $100 Billion in spreading Orthodox Islam throughout the world preaching hatred of Jews, Christians, non-assimilation by Muslims, hatred of western values, culture and laws which they happily use against us. And they get away with it.

It can't be just the oil anymore as there are so many newer sources for that. So what is their hold on our leaders? Clinton, both Bushes and Obama have all bowed to their every whim. Are they all being paid off like the Bushes have been who have been pimping to the tune of $2 Billion for these tyrants for years? Perhaps now we know why the 'news' media doesn't ask the right questions.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 7:26 am
Excellent summary Carola! Thank you. I'll add a little history here. Forty years ago the consensus was that Saudi Arabia was the most westernized country in the Middle East. The US established a military base there, and the positive relationships assisted in dealing with the impact of the formation of OPEC and related Oil Embargo. In the late 1970's Saudia Arabia moved to become less western including radical reduction in women's rights (e.g., forbidding Western dress on the streets). Like many historical allegiances (Phillipines, Egypt, etc.) the value of the allegiance and military bases silenced or muted the US's human rights voice in response.

Shirley S (187)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 7:57 am
noted with absolute horror & disgust

jan b (5)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 8:01 am
Medieval punishments.....war against women. What a culture and religion is the excuse for this behavior.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 8:03 am
You cannot currently send a star to janice because you have done so within the last week.

Jane K (10)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 8:57 am
Although I find this incident deplorable,we live in a country with the death penalty so we have nothing to say. There are innocent people and young people put to death here too. . George Stinney was executed in South Carolina in 1944 at 14 yrs of age and he was most likely innocent. " Children as young as 13 years old have been tried as adults and sentenced to die in prison, typically without any consideration of their age or circumstances of the offense. "

Khadija O (3)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 11:10 am
We have to keep our hopes up and keep working hard to make sure the Saudi government join the rest of the world in putting an end to senseless killings. I really feel for the couple who lost their baby and I pray they have the strength to move on. But I doubt the death of this poor girl would lessen their pain. This is tragic all round.

Patricia M (19)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 11:45 am

This girl wouldn't receive the death penalty for this in the U.S. And even as some states have the death penalty, they don't slice off heads in stadiums, or cut off hands and feet, cut off tongues, stone people. If you don't see the difference, you ought to try living there, but oops, the Saudis despise you too much as a Kafir, and wouldn't let you in the country. So I guess we can't talk.

Stan B (123)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:11 pm
It's a sad fact of economic reality that many thousands of people from third world countries are forced to seek employment in Muslim hell-holes like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai where they have no rights and are treated like dirt by tbeir employers.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:18 pm
Thanks for returning the focus to the article's issue: that state and fate of domestic workers Stan. Even in the US there have been many examples of being treated as slaves (and some related prosecutions).

Mary D (47)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:41 pm
Thanks J.L. A. This case might be an excellent example of what mistakes can do when the death penalty is legal, as well as the power of money over very poor people.

Colleen L (3)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:43 pm
How digusting. I'm not for violence acts, but maybe if they would of done this to the ones who raped and kill that young woman, maybe these sick minded criminals would think twice about ever doing it again. Like I mentioned, I don't believe in such violence especially for what the Saudi officals have done. Thanks J. L.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:45 pm
Excellent reminders Mary! You and Colleen are both very welcome. You cannot currently send a star to Mary because you have done so within the last week (Colleen, one is headed your way).

Claudia O (73)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 2:02 pm
This is a horrible violent act. We can never evolve when we do these terrible things.

Esther Z (94)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 2:14 pm
A great miscarriage of justice. The poor girl never had a chance....

Rose B (141)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 2:48 pm

Carrie B (306)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 2:57 pm
For all those blaming religion for this abominable behavior ~ what's the reason this country still has the death penalty?

I am guessing that because we have better legal rights for those on death row and we "kill" more humanely, many of you think we are oh so much more civilized. Wrong! We just have a better way of justifying our murderous actions.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 3:03 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Rose because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Carrie because you have done so within the last week.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 3:24 pm
What a barbaric country that is no more to say Why people would choose to go there beats me

Faye S (23)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 3:37 pm
Thank you to Jane and J.L.A. - I couldn't say it better. I know a lot of Muslims who are good people who are just as horrified at injustices like this.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 4:02 pm
You are welcome Faye.

Ana Passos (2)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 5:24 pm
just stupid

tiffany t (142)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 6:01 pm
sickening, hope to find peace that she is free,

Bette-Ann L (11)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 7:18 pm
women will prevail, in the end~

Devon L (54)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 9:42 pm
More sadness to bear............. I wish we would all wake up!!!!

Patricia N (9)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 9:42 pm
Saudi Arabia is ruled by the Wahhabi sect of Islam which is the most extreme form and being taught by Imams all over the world. I've written this down and keep it handy for news like this(I'm getting old and forgetful). In my opinion it is one of the worst countries in the world and this is reinforced every time I read a story like this. And, as has been mentioned here, we hardly ever see a story of their barbaric ways and hate of women. Too bad every poor country wouldn't notify their people of their terrible working conditions and how they could be imprisoned and/or executed for any reason just like this poor little girl. She might not have done anything wrong or maybe the parents were to blame and in turn blamed her. But she had no one to speak for her. I wouldn't set foot in that country for a billion dollars. We should tell them to take their oil and stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Maybe we could if we would spend more money on alternative energy sources.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 9:48 pm
Patricia, domestic workers are abused in pretty much every country of the world. The focus of this article is the state and fate of domestic workers. Even in the US there have been many examples of being treated as slaves (and some related prosecutions).

Gloria p (304)
Monday January 14, 2013, 5:01 am
RIP Rizana and little baby. I doubt if there was a crime.

Lloyd H (46)
Monday January 14, 2013, 5:30 am
My God, you would think Saudi Arabia was more advanced than Texas, evidently not!

Joy W (103)
Monday January 14, 2013, 6:03 am
So tragic.

JL A (281)
Monday January 14, 2013, 8:55 am
You cannot currently send a star to Joy because you have done so within the last week.

Jane K (10)
Monday January 14, 2013, 9:01 am
Patricia Martin, are people any less dead if you electrocute them rather than beheading them ? Of course you have the old tired attitude that we are better than anyone else so if we do it it is ok because we do it better. And therein lies the problem. The Innocenece project has gotten many people out of prison because they were , well, innocent . These are people we would have killed Can you see the problem here ?Yet, we condone the death penalty. Instead of jumping on people who want to make our country better you should perhaps wonder why you are unable to see that we have flaws just like everyone else .

JL A (281)
Monday January 14, 2013, 9:09 am
Excellent illustration Jane. The count of exonerations of the innocent is about 300 now for the Innocence Project (including those that had been executed prior to their exoneration). You cannot currently send a star to Jane because you have done so within the last week.

Klaus P (14)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 7:12 am
Obviously the Saudies do not have a credible justice system. The sooner they run out of oil the better, it will finish them and their country will fall apart very quickly, because they will have to do their own work. I can just imagine them trying to get of their fat arses. I pity those SE Asian countries having to allow their young people to take employment in the Middle East subjecting them to inhuman treatment. They thought they went there for a better life, they get paid little, get beaten, get raped, have no rights, they are just slaves to that rediculous Arab culture. The day will come when all those useless idiots will turn back into desert sand. In a thousand years the desert will have reclaimed everything that was built wilh oil money including Dubai. But the pyramids will still be there.

JL A (281)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 7:40 am
I agree with your assessment of problematic justice system Klaus.

Süheyla C (234)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 2:13 pm
Thanks J.L.
so sad.

Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 6:16 pm
Saudi courts: Just another infidel, who counts?

Patricia M (19)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 8:33 am

I personally am not a proponent of the death penalty in this country and have spoken out about it. So having done so, I feel entirely warranted in speaking out against this issue about the Saudis and many others as well, especially in the numerous ways its done, the sheer volume of those executed, the age of the minor to whom this was done -- and the fact that THIS would not have happened in the U.S.

If you can't see the difference between Saudi Arabia and the States, you should really go try for a visit.

Patricia M (19)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 8:35 am
Carrie B.,

What other religion calls for the death penalty by chopping off heads besides Islam?

JL A (281)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 12:38 pm
What other country rivals the US in percent of population incarcerated?

To remind everyone: the article primarily focused on the plight of domestic workers and the international relations and human rights issue regarding a citizen of another country accused of a crime. Religion is not the topic.

Sergio P (65)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 7:40 am

JL A (281)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 9:18 am
You cannot currently send a star to Sergio because you have done so within the last week.
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