Sri Lankan woman faces ‘beheading’ in Saudi

Rizana Nafeek is poised to be executed by beheading for allegedly killing a baby in her care.

Last Updated: Jun 27, 2011, 12:42 PM IST

Riyadh: A woman in Saudi Arabia is poised to be executed by beheading in front of a crowd of people for allegedly killing a baby in her care.

The young maid, Rizana Nafeek, was arrested in May 2005 on charges of murdering a four-month-old baby who was in her care.

Sri Lankan born Nafeek, who alleges she was a teenager at the time of the incident, has vehemently denied all allegations against her, saying that she had desperately tried to save the child, who choked while she was looking after it.

Nafeek`s mother Rafeena said that her daughter moved to Saudi Arabia looking for a job, and ended up becoming a domestic worker. She was later asked to take care of the baby, a task which Rafeena thought her daughter was of incapable of handling.

Just weeks into her employment, tragedy struck and the infant choked while he was being fed, she added.

Human rights groups have criticised the Saudi Arabian authorities for misquoting the maid’s date of birth while handling her case.

The authorities have her date of birth as 1982, while her birth certificate states that she was born in 1988, making her 17 at the time of the alleged incident, the Daily Mail reports.

“It would be outrageous if Rizana Nafeek were to be executed for this crime. It appears that she was herself a child at the time and there are real concerns about the fairness of her trial,” Amnesty International’s Middle East director Malcolm Smart said.

ANI