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SAUDI ARABIA/SRI LANKA: Catholic wants Saudi maid investigation

June 24, 2011
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Asian Human Rights Commission
Hong Kong

June 24, 2011

An article from ucanews.com forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission

SAUDI ARABIA/SRI LANKA: Catholic wants Saudi maid investigation

Concern over 'forced confession' in wake of beheading of Indonesian worker
ucanews.com reporter, Colombo
Sri Lanka
June 22, 2011


The family of Rizana Nafeek

A Catholic activist today joined human rights groups calling on the government to conduct a full probe in the case involving Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek, who is on death row in a Saudi jail.

"Rights groups in Sri Lanka have joined hands with Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to call on the government of Sri Lanka to conduct a full probe," said Catholic Priest Father Nandana Manatunga, head of the House of Torture Victims in the diocese of Kandy.

Hong Kong-based AHRC said last week the housemaid signed a statement two years after the incident, saying she was forced to admit to the killing after being beaten up by local police, and that she signed a confession under duress.

All faiths and organisations including Caritas have organized several signature campaigns and prayer services nationwide to appeal to the king of Saudi Arabia for a pardon housemaid, but to no avail.

Foreign employment minister Dilan Perera said the government was ready to provide compensation money in exchange for the release of the maid.

"One parent of the dead child has pardoned the maid, but this is not enough. Both parents must agree if the maid is to be released," Perera said. Several rights groups have appealed to the Saudi monarchy to intervene on behalf of the housemaid.

Related reports
Sri Lankans appeal to Saudi king for mercy

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