Rizana Nafeek Executed by Beheading in Saudi Arabia
Rizana Nafeek, who was only 17 when she allegedly killed her employer’s 4-month-old baby, was sentenced to death in 2005 despite the fact that she was a child and was denied legal aid.
Nafeek, who did not speak Arabic, insisted that her “confession” was coerced during a brutal interrogation and that the baby died from choking while drinking from a bottle.
Human rights advocates slammed Saudi Arabia for carrying out the execution.
“This girl is a victim of flaws in the Saudi Arabian judicial system,” Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “She had no lawyer prior to her sentencing and no access to a competent translator before or during her trial.”
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had requested that Saudi King Abdullah release Nafeek, who entered the kingdom illegally in search of employment, but Rajapaksa’s plea was ignored.
Members of the Sri Lankan parliament observed a moment of silence following Nafeek’s execution.
Only three countries– Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan– execute people for crimes committed when they were minors. The United States stopped sentencing children to death following the Supreme Court’s 2005 Roper v. Simmons decision.
Among the crimes that can result in execution in Saudi Arabia, which is ruled under a particularly severe form of Islamic Sharia law, are: murder, rape, false prophecy, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy (renouncing Islam), adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft and sorcery. Executions are nearly always carried out by public beheading.
Tagged capital punishment in saudi arabia, countries that execute children, Human Rights Watch, king abdullah, Mahindra Rajapaksa, Meenakshi Ganguly, Rizana Nafeek, Rizana Nafeek executed, Saudi Arabia, saudi arabia beheading, Sri Lanka