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Priest wants Saudi maid investigation

June 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Asia, Persecution, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan housemaid, Rizana Nafeek on death row in Saudi jailSri Lanka, 22 June, 2011: An activist-priest 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 Fr. 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 to the 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.

– ucan

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