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04 October 2023

Saudi executes convicted Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek

By Staff & correspondent

The Government of Sri Lanka expressed shock and grief over the beheading of a maid Rizana Nafeek for killing an infant in Saudi Arabia.

Nafeek had been working in Saudi Arabia for two weeks in 2005 when the Utaibi family’s four-month-old baby died in her care.

Although Nafeek had initially stated that she had murdered the infant. However, she later retracted her confession saying that whatever statement she had given earlier was made under duress. She later claimed that the baby died in a choking accident during feeding.

Both Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem and Foreign Employment Promotion Minister Dilan Perera made separate statements in the parliament on Wednesday on behalf of the ruling party, according to the Daily Mirror.

Perera said a delegation, including Rizana’s parents had been planning to leave for Saudi Arabia for clemency pleas.

It was earlier reported that the Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry under Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has issued instructions for Nafeek’s execution.

The Saudi Arabian government went ahead with her execution.

Director General Public Communication Anzul Jhan told Timesonline that she was executed around 11.40 am Saudi time on Thursday.

Minister Rauff Hakeem said that the King of Saudi Arabia had made all possible efforts to grant a pardon to her in response to a request by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.