SRI LANKA: Ms. Rizana Nafeek's appeal still pending at the Saudi Court
(Hong Kong, October 12, 2007)
According to the law firm Kateb Fahad Al-Shammari, the appeal filed on behalf of Ms. Rizana Nafeek who was sentenced to capital punishment by a Saudi Court is still pending and it will take some time before the appeal is heard. The firm is representing Ms. Rizana in the appeal.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) was briefed by the law firm yesterday, October 11, 2007. Razina is a 17-year-old Sri Lankan who was sentenced for capital punishment in Saudi Arabia.
"The AHRC has contacted the lawyers in Saudi Arabia after being alerted about some false rumours spread by some persons in Sri Lanka about this case..." said Mr. Basil Fernando, the Executive Director of the AHRC.
The lawyers have made a detailed appeal with many grounds which they believe are very strong reasons for the lower court sentence to be reversed, he added.
"Several Muslim scholars who were contacted by the AHRC has also confirmed that even under the Sharia law, the death sentence is erroneous on many grounds. Many principles are available within the Shariah law to provide substantive and procedural justice of persons facing criminal trial..." Mr. Fernando said.
Rizana was sentenced to death by a Saudi Court due to some allegations of causing death of a four-month-old baby of her employer while in fact she was in no way responsible for the accidental death which has occurred while the baby was being bottle-fed.
Many agencies have made several appeals to the Saudi authorities to exercise clemency and to pardon Rizana Nafeek.