SAUDI ARABIA/ SRI LANKA: UK Foreign Office and France condemn killing of Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia 

Both the United Kingdom Foreign Office and France issued statements condemning the killing of Rizana Nafeek.

However, the Sri Lankan government which expressed sadness about the killing did not make any statement specifically condemning the killing.

Commenting on reports that Sri Lankan national, Ms Rizana Nafeek, was executed yesterday in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said:

“I condemn the execution of Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia yesterday, despite the many appeals for her sentence to be commuted. The UK opposes all use of the death penalty as a matter of principle, whatever the crime committed. The beheading of Ms Nafeek is particularly concerning as reports suggest she may have been a child of 17 at the time the crime was committed. We also find the practice of beheading to be particularly cruel and inhuman. We continue to raise our concerns about human rights with the Saudi authorities, including its frequent use of the death penalty”.

France also issued a statement condemning the execution. “France condemns the decapitation on January 9 in Saudi Arabia of Rizana Nafeek, a young woman from Sri Lanka, a minor at the time of the event. France is committed to a campaign in favor of the universal abolition of the death penalty and takes numerous initiatives in that area. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs M. Laurent Fabius reminded, France expresses its determined and continual opposition to death penalty in any place and any circumstances. France exhorts Saudi Arabia to put an end to executions and implement a moratorium”. (Translation)

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AHRC-STM-013-2013
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Campaigns : Save Rizana Nafeek
Issues : Child rights, Death penalty, Extrajudicial killings, Judicial system, Women's rights,