Saudi Arabia reconsiders stoning sentence of Sri Lankan woman

Protesters stage a demonstration in front of the UN office in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, on Dec. 3, 2015. Hundreds of people held a protest in Sri Lanka on Thursday against a decision by a Saudi Arabian court to stone to death a Sri Lankan maid who had allegedly committed adultery in the Arab nation. The protest was led by the New Generation organization composed mainly of youth Sri Lankan artists.  (Xinhua/Liu Hongru)

Protesters stage a demonstration in front of the UN office in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, on Dec. 3, 2015. Hundreds of people held a protest in Sri Lanka on Thursday against a decision by a Saudi Arabian court to stone to death a Sri Lankan maid who had allegedly committed adultery in the Arab nation. The protest was led by the New Generation organization composed mainly of youth Sri Lankan artists.
(Xinhua/Liu Hongru)

A Saudi court has decided to reopen the case of a Sri Lankan woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, according to a Sri Lankan government minister.

Harsha de Silva, the deputy foreign minister, told parliament on Tuesday 8th December that an appeals court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, has decided to hear the case again following pleas by Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry.

“Based on the advice of the lawyers and our intervention on the matter, a decision has been reached to reopen the case,” De Silva told lawmakers.“We see this as a victory,” he said, adding that the ministry will bear all the legal expenses of reopening the case and “make the fullest efforts in order to get this judgment changed”, according to AP.

Ranjan Ramanayake, minister’s deputy, said that the Sri Lankan government was told of the woman’s conviction in August, even though she was arrested back in April 2014. He added to Al-Wasat News in Bahrain, “In this kind of cases, you need to have four approved Muslim witnesses, which they couldn’t provide.”

The 45-year-old woman, who is married with two children, was working as a maid in Saudi Arabia. She was sentenced to death in August. The unmarried Sri Lankan man convicted alongside her was sentenced to 100 lashes. The foreign ministry has not revealed their identities.

Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, met an official from the Saudi embassy in Colombo last week and expressed Sri Lanka’s concerns about the case. Samaraweera has also requested to speak to Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister to seek clemency for the woman.

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said it wrote to the Saudi king last week to ask him to pardon the woman and the man, noting their “inferior education and poor economic situation”, according to AFP.

Leave a Reply

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone