국제앰네스티는 지난 10월 26일, 17살에 저지른 살인으로 사우디 아라비아 법원에서 사형선고를 받은 스리랑카 여성에 대한 사형집행을 중단 할 것을 사우디 아라비아 왕에게 요청했다.
리자나 나피크(Rizana Nafeek)는 2005년 5월에 돌보고 있던 영아를 살해한 혐의로 사형선고를 받았으며 지난 10월 25일 항소심에서 또한 지고 말았다.
그녀는 재판 전 조사과정 중에서도, 구금 중 폭행을 당했다고 밝혔을 때, 첫 번째 재판에서마저 변호사의 도움을 받지 못했다. 그녀는 혐의사실을 인정한 바 있으나 폭행에 의한 강제적 거짓 진술이었다며 진술을 철회했다.
현재 이 사건은 압둘라(‘Abdullah)왕의 마지막 승인을 기다리고 있다. 스리랑카 대통령 마힌다 라자팍사(Mahinda Rajapaksa)또한 왕에게 이미 선처를 요청한 바 있다.
국제앰네스티 말콤 스마트(Malcom Smart) 중동•북 아프리카국 국장은 “라자나 나피크가 이런 혐의를 이유로 사형 되는 것은 있을 수 없는 일”이라며 “가해자인 그녀 또한 사건 당시 성인이 아니였으며 재판 또한 공정하지 못했을 우려가 있다”고 말했다. 또한, “사우디 아라비아는 세계에서 가장 많이 사형을 집행하는 나라 중 하나이며 많은 수의 피해자들은 개발도상국에서 온 가난한 이민자다”라고 덧붙였다.
SAUDI ARABIAN KING URGED TO STOP EXECUTION OF SRI LANKAN DOMESTIC WORKER
26 October 2010Amnesty International today urged the Saudi Arabian King to halt the execution of a young Sri Lankan woman who has lost her appeal against a death sentence for a murder committed when she says she was 17 years old.
Rizana Nafeek, who was arrested in May 2005 on charges of killing an infant in her care, had her death sentence upheld on Monday by Riyadh’s Supreme Court.
The case now awaits final ratification by King ‘Abdullah. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has already appealed to the King to exercise clemency.
“It would be outrageous if Rizana Nafeek were to be executed for this crime,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Middle East and North Africa programme at Amnesty International. “It appears that she was herself a child at the time and there are real concerns about the fairness of her trial.”
“Saudi Arabia has had one of the highest rates of executions in the world, with migrants from poor and developing countries among the main victims.”
Rizana Nafeek entered Saudi Arabia in May 2005 to work as a housemaid using a passport that gives her date of birth as February 1982, although she says she was actually born six years later, in February 1988, as her birth certificate indicates.
If she was born in February 1988, she was only 17 at the time of the crime for which she has been sentenced to death.
Rizana Nafeek had no access to lawyers during her pre-trial interrogation, when she says she was assaulted, or at her first trial. She initially “confessed” to the murder but has since retracted her confession, which she says she was forced to make under duress after being physically assaulted in detention.
The domestic worker’s case was transferred back and forth between various courts after she was sentenced to death on 16 June 2007 by a court in Dawadmi until the Supreme Court confirmed her death sentence earlier this week. It has now been referred to King Abdullah and if he ratifies it she will be at imminent risk of execution.
The court which sentenced her reportedly relied on the age given in her passport and did not allow her birth certificate or other evidence of her age to be considered.
As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Saudi Arabia is bound not to execute people convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18 years old.
At least 158 people, including 76 foreign nationals, were executed by the Saudi Arabian authorities in 2007, and at least 102 people, including almost 40 foreign nationals, were executed in 2008.
In 2009, at least 69 people are known to have been executed, including 19 foreign nationals. Since the beginning of 2010, at least 21 people have been executed, including five foreign nationals.
Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of offences in court proceedings that fall far short of international standards for fair trial. Defendants are rarely allowed formal representation by a lawyer and in many cases they are not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them.