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Lankan Muslims in mercy appeal for Nafeek

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RIYADH: The Muslim community in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo has appealed Friday to a Saudi couple to spare the life of a Sri Lankan housemaid who killed their baby. Rizana Nafeek was convicted of murdering Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al-Otaibi’s four-month-old child in June, 2007.

Rauf Hakeem, senior parliamentarian and leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), handed a letter for Al-Otaibi and his family on Friday to the Saudi Ambassador in Colombo, Abdul Rahman Al-Jammaz, pleading for clemency for Nafeek on behalf of the Muslim community, which forms eight percent of the island’s 20 million population

Former Sri Lankan Consul General Masiudeen Inamullah was also present at the Friday meeting held at the Saudi Embassy in Colombo.
The Supreme Court in Riyadh recently upheld the death sentence handed down by Dawadami High Court on Nafeek. She was found guilty by a three-member panel of judges headed by Chief Justice Abdullah Al-Rosaimi.

Nafeek had murdered the infant when asked to bottle-feed the baby by the sponsor’s wife at the family home in Dawadmi.Speaking to Arab News from Colombo, Hakeem said that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had also appealed to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to grant clemency to Nafeek.

“I’m very happy about the president writing to the king, seeking amnesty for the girl who went there as domestic help to keep her home fires burning.” He added that the SLMC wrote a letter of appreciation to the president. “We hope our president’s appeal will be considered favorably by King Abdullah.”

“As far as I know, there are certain restrictions in the Kingdom’s law that cannot be changed once a decision is made. Now the Supreme Court of the country has decided that the girl is guilty,” Hakeem said.“We sincerely hope and trust that the parents will graciously offer a pardon for the girl who came to the Kingdom in search of greener pastures to help her family, which is living in dire poverty.”

Nafeek’s father is a woodcutter who works in Muttur, a village in Trincomalee district, 300 km away from Colombo.Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hussein Bhaila hoped King Abdullah would show mercy and persuade the parents to pardon the maid.Rajapaksa’s letter of appeal to King Abdullah was handed to the Saudi embassy in Colombo by a senior diplomat from the Sri Lankan foreign ministry.

A copy was presented by Sri Lankan Ambassador Ahmed A.Jawad in Riyadh to a top Foreign Ministry official on Tuesday.In a letter urging Rajapaksa to intervene in Nafeek’s case, Basil Fernando, director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, said: “Do your utmost to save the life of this young Muslim girl who went to work in a foreign country because of dire poverty. If the death sentence is to be executed, your government will be justly held responsible for this unjustifiable death, which could have been avoided if the government provided the protection she deserved as a citizen as well as a young migrant worker.”

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article175330.ece

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Written by lankamuslim.com

October 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Posted in Muslim news

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