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Saudi Arabia rejects maid beheading criticism

Arab World Materials 14 January 2013 11:44
Saudi Arabia criticised world reaction to its beheading a Sri Lankan maid convicted of killing her employer's baby, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported.
Saudi Arabia rejects maid beheading criticism

Saudi Arabia criticised world reaction to its beheading a Sri Lankan maid convicted of killing her employer's baby, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported.

Riyadh "deplores the statements made... over the execution of a Sri Lankan maid who had plotted and killed an infant by suffocating him to death, one week after she arrived in the kingdom," the government spokesman said, AlJazeera reported.

Rizana Nafeek was beheaded on Wednesday in a case that sparked widespread international condemnation, including from rights groups which said she was just 17 when she was charged with murdering the baby in 2005.

Nafeek was found guilty of smothering the infant after an argument with the child's mother.

The case soured diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka which on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia in protest.

The government spokesman condemned what he called "wrong information on the case," and denied that the maid was a minor when she committed the crime.

"As per her passport, she was 21 years old when she committed the crime," he said, adding that "the kingdom does not allow minors to be brought as workers."

He said the authorities had tried hard to convince the baby's family to accept "blood money," but they rejected any amnesty and insisted that the maid be executed.

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