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Take All Possible Measures To Revoke Death Sentence On Sri Lankan Domestic Worker: Sri Lankan CSOs Tell Govt

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3 December 2015

185 Civil Society activists and 40 organisations have today urged the respective authorities to take all possible measures to revoke the death sentence and ensure the migrant worker’s safe return to Sri Lanka.

A 45 year old, unnamed Sri Lankan migrant domestic worker and mother of 4 has been sentenced to death by stoning in Saudi Arabia for ‘adultery.’

We publish below the statement in full;

Death Sentence Imposed on a Sri Lankan Migrant Worker in Saudi Arabia

We the undersigned express our deep dismay and distress that as a yet unnamed Sri Lankan housemaid living in Saudi Arabia has been found guilty of adultery and has been sentenced to death by stoning.

StopStoning-SaudiAccording to newspaper reports, a court in Riyadh sentenced the woman, reportedly a mother of two, based on her confession. The male worker involved in the case who has been found guilty of fornication (as he is not married) has been given a sentence of 100 lashes. Little is known of the circumstances of the case; generally these cases are difficult to prove as it must be corroborated by four male witnesses or eight female witnesses. However since the woman pleaded guilty the case has been exempted from this standard of proof.

In response to the conviction, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and the Ministry of Foreign Employment has expressed concern and instructed the Sri Lankan Embassy in Saudi Arabia to take all steps to save the convicted woman. The SLBFE has hired a lawyer to appear on behalf of the woman in order to obtain a revocation of the death sentence. Minister Thalatha Athukorale has however noted that this would be an uphill task given that the woman has confessed to the offence.

This is the second instance that a Sri Lankan housemaid has been given the death sentence. PreviouslyRizana Nafeek was beheaded on 9th January 2013 for the alleged murder of a four-month old baby boy. Nafeek’s conviction was also based on a confession, which she later claimed was made under duress and without linguistic assistance. Following a case which dragged on for five years and despite appeals made by the government of Sri Lanka and international and local women’s and human rights organisations, the Saudi government went ahead with her execution in January 2013.

According to Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia is amongst the top three countries that implement the death penalty and the majority of those who are executed are foreign nationals convicted for non-lethal crimes such as adultery, apostasy, sorcery and witchcraft.

We appeal to THE RESPECTIVE AUTHORITIES TO take all possible measures to revoke the death sentence and ensure the migrant worker’s safe return to Sri Lanka. We EARNESTLY call on you to expeditiously bring to bear all possible means to ensure that the migrant worker is granted justice. We further call on you to ensure that Sri Lankan migrant workers are granted all possible support and protection to ensure their human rights.

Sincerely

Action Network for Migrant Workers (ACTFORM)
Centre for Policy Alternatives
Centre for Social Concerns, Jaela
Ceylon Workers Red Flag Union
Citizens Voice for Justice and Peace
Domestic Workers Union
Families of the Disappeared
Kantha Shakthi Forum
Lanka Estate Workers Union
United Federation of Labour
Lawyers Collective for democracy
Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum
Red Flag Women’s Movement
Rights Now
Rural Women’s Front, Galle
Savisthri Women’s Movement for Justice
Sri Lanka Women’s NGO Forum (SLWNGOF)
Suriya Women’s Development Centre, Batticaloa
Trikone Cultural Centre
Woman’s Power
Women and Media Collective (WMC)
Women In Need
Women’s Resource Center, Kurunegala
Association for War Affected Women, Kandy
Christian Workers fellowship (CWF)Women Action Network, Jaffna
Future In Our Hands
The Grassrooted Trust
Coalition for Educational development
SAHODARATHWA SANSADAYA
Christian Alliance for Social Action (CASA)
Centre for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation
Inter Relligious Federation of Ampara District (IRFAD)
Al Minan Women’s Society – Kalmunai
Fathima Women’s Society – Central Camp
Nisha Women’s Society Kalmunai
Ambikai Women’s Society – Central Camp
Malar Villy Society Central Camp
Sivasakthi Women’s Society Central Camp
Ina Ottrumaikana Pengal Abiviruthy  Ondriyam Central Camp
Women’s Political Academy

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Ameena Hussein
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Anoma Alankara
Anoma Manoranjani
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A.H.H.Aqila
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Arafa Jaleel Khan
Azra Abdul Cader
Balachandran Gowthaman
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Bhavani Fonseka
Bhoomi Harendran
Britto Fernando
Camena Gunaratne
Chandani K.A Malagammana
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Caryll Tozer
Chandrika Gadiewasam
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Farzana Jaleel Khan
Florine Marzook
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Gehan Gunatilleke
Geethika Rupasinghe
Gratian A. Peiris
H.M. Subharatne Menike
Harini Amarasuriya
Hans Billimoria
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Hishama Matheen
Hemalatha
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Menaha Kandasamy
Menike Wannisooriya
Melisha Yapa
Mirak Raheem
Mohamed Nuhman
Mujeebur Rahman
M.M.Jenita
M.S.Thevagowry
Nayagara Jinadasa
Nadira Salih
Neil Priyantha Fernando

Nimalka Fernando
Noorul Zaniha Jainulabdeen
N. Zairina Ariff
Nishani Punchihewa
Nirmalani Perera
Nimnaz Jabir
Padma  Pushpakanthi
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Pavithra Sajeevani
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Paul Hogan
Ranga Bandaranayake
Rajee Clerk
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Ramzeen Azeez
Rani Jayasinghe
Ranjani Mallika
Ratna Sandaseeli
Rajany. C.
Rev. Jason J. Selvaraja, Assembly of God, Chavakachcheri
Rev. M. V. E.  Ravichandran, Jaffna Diocesan Catholic Youth Federation
Riyani
Rikaza Laffir
Rohini Dep Weerasinghe
Rohini Hensman
Roshani Fernandopulle
Ruki Fernando
Rushdi Zackariya
Ruwendi Wakwella
R.Logitha
S. Ananthi
S.G.Nishanthini
Sathyavani
Sandya Salgado
Savithri Wijesekera
Sepali Kottegoda
Selvi Sachithanandam
Shafinaz Hassendeen
Shreen Saroor
Sampath Samarakoon
S.A.M.Jabir
S. R. H. Hoole
S.Unesh Kunalan
Sheila Richards
Shirani Rathnaweera
Shiromi Pathirana
Sithy Nabeesa Deen
Shyamala Gomez
Shyamala Sivagurunathan
Shamini
Shafnaaz Harees
Silma Mohideen Ahamed
Sriyani Pathirage
Sriyanie Wijesundara
Sudarshana Gunawardene
Sunil Ranasinghe
Sumi Kerison
Supipi Jayawardena
Smriti Daniel
Shiranee Dissanayake
S. Rubiya
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T. Chandramohan
Thiagi Piyadasa
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U.L.Hafeela
U.L.Sameena
U.L.Hassen
Udeni Thewarapperuma
Yasmin Azeez
Vasuki Jeyasankar
Vasanthagowri
Visaka Dharmadasa
Viola Perera
Visaka Bandaranayake
W.A. Dayani
Wasantha Dissanayake
Zuhri Zackariya
Zulfika Ismail


Reposted from: Colombo Telegraph

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