RIYADH: Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek,who was convicted of killing a baby in her care, was executed on Wednesday in Dawadmi, a city located some 380 km away from the capital, according to an announcement made by the Ministry of Interior here in Riyadh.
On June 16, 2007, Nafeek was sentenced to death by a three-member bench at the Dawadmi High Court for killing the baby she was entrusted to look after in the absence of her Saudi employers at home. The judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Judicial Commission in September 2010.
Subsequently, the Royal Court forwarded the case of Nafeek for an amicable settlement with the Saudi parents of the child she was convicted of killing. Nafeek’s case was taken up by the Reconciliation Committee (RC) of the Riyadh governorate. An amicable settlement was not reached between the aggrieved parents and the Reconciliation Committee.
According to Saudi Press Agency, the maid had strangled the baby to death because of a dispute between the mother of deceased infant and the maid. The announcement recalled that the security authorities were quick in apprehending the criminal to bring the culprit to book.
The statement added that the murder case passed through all procedures and stages of the judicial system such as magistrate courts, Court of Cassation and finally the Supreme Judicial Council, which upheld the death sentence.
The Ministry of Interior, while announcing the execution, re-affirmed its commitment to maintain peace, stability and justice in the country. It also warned that violators would face suitable punishments according to the laws of the Kingdom.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, made an eleventh-hour appeal on Sunday seeking suspension of execution until an amicable settlement is reached between the Reconciliation Committee and the aggrieved party.
On hearing the execution, Sri Lankan parliament held a minute’s silence on Wednesday in memory of Nafeek.
Nafeek, holder of Passport No. N. 0331835, arrived in Riyadh on 4th May, 2005 to work as a housemaid in the household, of her sponsor, Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al Otaibi and was transferred by her sponsor to work in his family household in Dawadmi.
The homicide took place around 12.30 p.m. on May 22 , 2005.
Child abuse through maids in the Kingdom has been recently on the rise. In 2001, an Asian maid poked a child’s eye out, because he was noisy. The maid admitted her crime. Other incidents range between murder crimes, robbery and practicing juggling and magic.