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Back Activities Alerts Action Alert: Saudi Arabia – Stop Rizana Nafeek’s execution

Action Alert: Saudi Arabia – Stop Rizana Nafeek’s execution

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Rizana Nafeek, 22 years old, was charged with strangling the 4-month-old infant of the family for whom she worked as a housemaid in Dawadmi city.

Contents
1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letters


1. Summary

On September 25, 2010 Rizana Nafeek’s death sentence was upheld by Riyadh's Supreme Court. Ms Nafeek lost her appeal against the death sentence for the death of an infant she was taking care of. The decision is currently being reviewed by the advisor of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for ratification.
 
Nafeek can be granted amnesty if either King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or the family of the deceased infant grant clemency.

IHRC urges all campaigners to write to the King of Saudi Arabia, the family of the child and Saudi Embassies all over the world asking for clemency on behalf of Rizana Nafeek.


2. Background

Rizana Nafeek, 22 years old, was charged with strangling the 4-month-old infant of the family for whom she worked as a housemaid in Dawadmi city.

 Sri Lankan Muslim Ms Nafeek is detained facing the death penalty for allegedly strangling Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al-Otaibi's four-month-old son.

She came to Saudi when she was 17 years old to work for al-Otaibi household in Dawadmi as a maid. A week after she arrived she was assigned to look after the four-month old baby, without any training and in addition to her daily duties.

While bottle-feeding the baby, he started choking on the milk. Nafeek shouted for help; however by the time the mother arrived the baby fell unconscious.

Nafeek was taken to police where the family of the baby claimed that she committed a premeditated murder. She was tortured in the police station and was made to confess, under duress, which she later retracted.
 
Her torture as a child and a juvenile is against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which had been ratified by the Saudi Arabian government.

She was denied access to her lawyer during her pre-trial interrogation.
 
Kateb el-Shammari, who was appointed by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to defend Nafeek, doubted credentials of the translation of Nafeek’s confession in to Arabic. Translation was made by a Tamil speaking, Saibo, who left the country with no return after this.
 
Nafeek was Indicted and found guilty of alleged death of an infant in 2005. The verdict was later endorsed by the Supreme Court in Riyadh and a death sentence was given.

In June 2007, Nafeek was sentenced to death by a three-member panel of judges headed by Abdullah al-Rosimi , Chief Justice of Dawadmi High Court.

In September 25, 2010, Nafeek’s death sentence was upheld by Riyadh's Supreme Court after losing her appeal against the death sentence.  The decision is now being referred to the Interior Ministry and Council of Ministers which is headed by King Abdullah of Saudi, who can either approve the death sentence or grant her amnesty.

Nafeek’s lawyer told IHRC: “Amnesty can be granted by the King of Saudi, who presides the Council of Ministers, or by al-Otaibi, family of the deceased infant”.

Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa has written an appeal to King Abdullah of Saudi requesting him to spare the life of Nafeek.

IHRC calls on his Royal Highness King Abdullah of Saudi to grant Nafeek amnesty and use his prerogative right to save the life of the young Muslim girl Rizana Nafeek.



3. Action required

Write to the following authorities requesting them to urge the Saudi King to pardon Rizana Nafeek and spare her life.

a) His Royal Highness King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of Saudi. Campaigners will find the appropriate address and fax on the sample letter below.

b)  Saudi Arabian embassies all over the world. Please follow the link below for information on embassies.

c) Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)207839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk )


4. Sample letters
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A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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a) His Royal Highness King Abdullah of Saudi

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

His Majesty King ‘Abdullah Bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Saudi, The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques
Office of His Majesty the King
Royal Court, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 1 403 1185

Your Majesty Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud,

As Salam alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu

Re: Saudi Arabia – Clemency for Rizana Nafeek

I am writing to request that you act urgently to prevent the imminent execution of Rizana Nafeek who received the death sentence on September 25, 2010 by Riyadh's Supreme Court. She lost her appeal for the death of a baby, the son of Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al-Otaibi. Ms Nafeek maintains that it was an accident and she has no motives whatsoever to kill a baby. In fact she had only been in the country less than a month when the tragic death occurred.   

I urge you to reconsider the plight of Ms Nafeek. She arrived as a vulnerable child seeking a better life for herself and her family in Saudi Arabia. The events that followed are extremely tragic and traumatising for all involved and consolation with such hardship is indeed difficult. There are no winners in this situation, although there are many opportunities to exercise compassion and kindness, the highest virtues.

Ms. Nafeek states she was only 17 years-old when the incident happened, making her a child. As you know, Saudi Arabia is a state member of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child; therefore Ms Nafeek cannot be sentenced to death according to Article 37 of the convention.

I believe in your justice and mercy, I therefore urge you to use your royal rights to pardon Rizana Nafeek and spare her life. Your intervention will save a human and a Muslim’s life, the reward of which is equivalent to saving the whole of humanity.

I look forward to your response on this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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b) Ambassadors of Saudi Arabia all over the world

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Saudi Embassies

Your Excellency Ambassador,

As Salam alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu

Re: Saudi Arabia – Clemency for Rizana Nafeek

I am writing to request that you act urgently to prevent the imminent execution of Rizana Nafeek who received the death sentence on September 25, 2010 by Riyadh's Supreme Court. She lost her appeal for the death of a baby, the son of Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al-Otaibi. Ms Nafeek maintains that it was an accident and she has no motives whatsoever to kill a baby. In fact she had only been in the country less than a month when the tragic death occurred.   

I urge you to reconsider the plight of Ms Nafeek. She arrived as a vulnerable child seeking a better life for herself and her family in Saudi Arabia. The events that followed are extremely tragic and traumatising for all involved and consolation with such hardship is indeed difficult. There are no winners in this situation, although there are many opportunities to exercise compassion and kindness, the highest virtues.

Ms. Nafeek states she was only 17 years-old when the incident happened, making her a child. As you know, Saudi Arabia is a state member of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child; therefore Ms Nafeek cannot be sentenced to death according to Article 37 of the convention.

I believe in your justice and mercy, I therefore urge you to use your authority to grant clemency for Rizana Nafeek and spare her life. Your intervention will save a human and a Muslim’s life, the reward of which is equivalent to saving the whole of humanity.

I look forward to your response on this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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c) Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)20 7839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk )

[Your name]
[Your address]

[Date]

Rt. Hon. William Hague MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr. Hague,

Re: Saudi Arabia – Clemency for Rizana Nafeek

I am writing to request that you act urgently to prevent the imminent execution of Rizana Nafeek who received the death sentence on September 25, 2010 by Riyadh's Supreme Court in Saudi Arabia. She lost her appeal for the death of a baby, the son of Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al-Otaibi. Ms Nafeek maintains that it was an accident and she has no motives whatsoever to kill a baby. In fact she had only been in the country less than a month when the tragic death occurred.  

 Ms Nafeek was taken to police where the family of the baby claimed that she committed a premeditated murder. She was tortured in the police station and made to confess, under duress, which she later retracted.
Her torture as a child and a juvenile is against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which has been ratified by the Saudi Arabian government.The Saudi government should act in accordance with international law, particularly Article 37 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, and end the use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders.
IHRC urges you intervene and appeal to the King of Saudi Arabia and the family of the child asking for clemency on behalf of Ms Nafeek.

I look forward to your response on this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your signature]
[Your name]

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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below

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Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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