SAUDI ARABIA/SRI LANKA: Open letter to President Rajapakse on the need of diplomatic effort to save Rizana Nafeek

An Open Letter from the Asian Human Rights Commission to His Excellency, the President of the Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka

His Excellency the Hon. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa
President Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka
C/- Office of the President
Temple Trees, 150 Galle Road, Colombo 3
Tel: +94 112473873, +9411235435, +94112326309
Fax: + 94 112446657

SAUDI ARABIA/SRI LANKA: Open letter to President Rajapakse on the need of diplomatic effort to save Rizana Nafeek

Your Excellency,

Re: The serious threat to the life of Rizana Nafeek

As you are quite well aware Rizana Nafeek, who has been incarcerated in Dawadami Jail since 2007 may be beheaded at any time now. As you government has said repeatedly, the saving of her life depends on the diplomatic effort between your government and the parents of the deceased child.

I am aware that in the past you government has made some effort in that direction. However, they have failed due to the absence of a coordinated attempt to meet directly with the parents of the child. According to reports the last attempt by the government was so ill-coordinated that no meeting with the parents took place at all.

Your government does have the diplomatic capacity to engage an envoy capable of establishing proper contact with the family and ensuring that a fruitful negation takes place.

Your government has the support of the international community in this matter. The parliament of the European Union has expressed its concern quite openly and stated that it is coordinating its efforts with your government. Perhaps an initiative on your part to get the support of those diplomats of other countries in Saudi Arabia itself who are aware of this case and those who have publically expressed concern on this matter would greatly enhance your efforts to secure the release of Rizana Nafeek. You would note that His Royal Highness, Prince Charles himself has expressed his concern over the plight of this girl and promised to pursue the matter with the Saudi government.

I earnestly hope you will personally take up this matter of saving the life of this innocent girl who due to unfortunate circumstances has been falsely charged for a murder that she did not commit when she was only 17-years-of-age. Her parents, the Muslim community in Sri Lanka and the country’s women’s organisations has for several years now sought your assistance for saving the life of this Sri Lankan girl.

I earnestly hope that this matter will be brought speedily to a happy conclusion. Such a conclusion would certainly make the entire Sri Lankan nation happy as they have been watching this case very closely for a long period of time as has the rest of the world.

Yours sincerely,

Md. Ashrafuzzaman Zaman
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Open Letter
Document ID : AHRC-OLT-012-2012
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Child rights, Death penalty, Migrant workers,