Rizana Nafeekwas just 17 years old when she had migrated to Saudi Arabia in 2005 with the dream of making life easier for are family that lives in penury in a village in Srilanka. The incident that led to the charge of murder against her is highly tragic but the facts of the event, listed below, strongly points towards the innocence of the hapless girl:
She has consitently claimed that the 4 months old baby of the Saudi couple that had employed her as a domestic help choked to death while she was bottle-feeding the child.
No one witnessed her committing any act that would cause injury to the child. The baby's mother found her shaking the baby in a desperate attempt to revive the infant and screaming for help at the time of the incident on May 22, 2005.
She had no motive to murder the child particularly given her circumstances that drove her to travel from her home in Sri Lanka just so that she can can support her family financially through employement in Saudi Arabia.
She was not provided any legal representation when her case was tried in the Dawadmi High Court.
Her “confession” that was made the basis for her conviction and the subsequent death sentence was allegedly extracted through initimidation. She was a 17 year girl in a foreign country, charged with murder of an infant. She had been there for barely a month, hardly enough time to understand the rules and laws of a foreign country and she had no one to to count for support. It is not hard to imagine how vulnerable her situation, in which she made the “confession”, was.
Given these circumstances, it is in the interest of justice and human compassion that Rizana's side of the story be given credence. She has been languishing in prison for seven years now and living with the prospect of getting beheaded anytime since June16th, 2007. It will be a travesty of justice if the death senstence is executed and a poor girl who has already suffered severely for something that in all liklihood she did not do, is beheaded. Once carried out the sentence could not be undone.
Therefore, we the petition signatories make a sincere appeal to your magesty, King Abdullah to intervene in the case of the unfortunate girl. On behalf of Rizana Nafeek, we, her fellow human beings, can only count on you to show mercy and revoke her impending execution.