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URGENT ACTION: Call on Saudi Arabia to Stop Execution by Stoning of Sri Lankan Domestic Worker

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UPDATE on 23 December 2015:

Saudi Arabian court has commuted the sentence of death by stoning to an imprisonment term.
Excerpts from various news:
  • BBC: The life of a Sri Lankan domestic worker due to be stoned to death in Saudi Arabia for adultery has been spared, Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry says. She will instead be imprisoned, Sri Lankan Deputy Foreign Minister Dr Harsha de Silva announced.
  • Saudi Gazette: A Saudi Arabian court has commuted the death sentence passed on a Sri Lankan domestic worker convicted of adultery, the government in Colombo said on Wednesday. “We have succeeded in getting the death sentence overturned. Our concern was to make sure that the original sentence was not carried out,” Harsha de Silva, the deputy foreign minister, told reporters in Sri Lanka’s capital. “The government of Sri Lanka wishes to acknowledge and appreciate the good offices of the Saudi authorities. “The sympathy, understanding and the concern expressed, and assistance extended by many other parties is also noted and deeply appreciated.”  De Silva said the woman would now serve a “short jail sentence” but details on the exact amount of time that she would have to remain behind bars were not yet clear.
  • Global Post: Saudi Arabia has commuted a Sri Lankan woman who was sentenced to ben stoned to death for adultery to a jail sentence after an appeal by Sri Lankan authorities, Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha De Silva said on Wednesday. In a joint media briefing with the Minister of Foreign Employment, Thalatha Athukorala, De Silva said that Sri Lanka had been successful in its appeal to Saudi authorities and had the execution order withdrawn.
  • Daily Mail: Married mother of two given death penalty after her conviction in August. Unmarried Sri Lankan man convicted with her was sentenced to 100 lashes. Saudi Arabian court commuted her sentence after an appeal from Colombo. Woman would now serve a ‘short’ jail sentence, says Sri Lankan minister.


UPDATE on 8 December 2015:

Excerpt from the Economy Next:

Saudi authorities have agreed to reopen the case of a Sri Lankan domestic worker sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva told parliament Tuesday.

Sri Lankan diplomats met with the unidentified woman at a Saudi jail over the weekend and Colombo secured agreement to give her a fresh trial, the deputy minister said.

“Through our intervention, they (Saudi authorities) have agreed to reopen the case,” de Silva told parliament. “This can be considered a big victory. We will provide her with legal counsel.”

The woman, a 45-year-old married mother of two who has not been named, was convicted of adultery in August. She was sentenced to death by stoning, while an unmarried Sri Lankan man convicted alongside her was sentenced to 100 lashes.

Sri Lankan lawmakers from all parties have united in urging the government to secure clemency for the woman and a pardon for the man.


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Why this is Important

According to the Muslim Women’s Research & Action Front Sri Lanka, a 45 year old, unnamed Sri Lankan migrant domestic worker and mother of 3 has been sentenced to death by stoning in Saudi Arabia for “adultery.” Zina – that is any sexual relations outside of marriage – are Hudud crimes or “crimes against God.”

The man in the alleged relationship who is single has been sentenced to 100 lashes for “fornication.”

We, the undersigned, condemn the death penalty and stoning or flogging, including for private sexual relations between consenting adults.

The state must not kill people for love.

The Saudi authorities must release the two and extradite them to their home country.

Sign: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Saudi_Arabia_Stop_Stoning_Sri_Lankan_Domestic_Worker/

More information here: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/take-all-possible-measures-to-revoke-death-sentence-on-sri-lankan-domestic-worker-csos-tell-govt/

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