• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

UN decries Saudi beheading of Sri Lankan

AFP · 11 Jan 2013, 15:53

Published: 11 Jan 2013 15:53 GMT+01:00

"We express our deep dismay at the execution," Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters in Geneva.

Rizana Nafeek was only 17 when she was charged with murdering her employer's baby a week after arriving in Saudi Arabia in 2005.

She was found guilty of smothering the infant to death after an argument with the child's mother, and despite concerns about her trial and numerous appeals from Sri Lanka and the international community she was beheaded on Wednesday.

"We are deeply troubled by reports of irregularities in her detention and trial, including that no lawyer was present to assist her in key stages of her interrogation and trial," Colville said.

He pointed out that Nafeek had been tried in a language she did not understand with only poor interpretation at her disposal, and that she had claimed she had been forced to sign a confession under duress.

She said the baby died in a choking accident while drinking from a bottle.

He also stressed her young age at the time of the offence.

Saudi Arabia is just one of three countries in the world that imposes the death penalty for crimes committed by minors.

Sri Lanka recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia Thursday to protest the execution, after President Mahinda Rajapakse deplored the beheading that was
carried out despite his latest clemency appeal over the weekend.

The UN's right body also lamented Friday "the sharp increase in the use of capital punishment in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2011."

According to figures from Amnesty International, the number of executions in Saudi Arabia have jumped from 27 in 2010, of whom five were foreigners, to 82 in 2011, including 28 foreigners.
   
In 2012, the number of executions slipped slightly to 79 people, including 27 foreigners.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss to back surveillance law in Sunday poll
A security camera keeps watch over proceedings in Davos: Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP

Privacy versus security: it's a tension confronting democracies the world over, with Swiss voters facing their own test on Sunday.

Swiss politician argues against hijab in ID photos
The official guidelines should what ID photos allow. Photo: FedPol

Should the Islamic headscarf be banned in photographs for official Swiss documents?

Swiss driverless bus trial suspended after crash
Photo: PostBus

The pioneering self-driving bus was involved in a minor collision with a van.

Swiss supermarkets to charge for plastic bags
Photo: Migros

Migros and Coop will introduce charges for single-use plastic bags this year.

Swiss police arrest Algerian rebel wanted in France
Merouane Benahmed in 2015. Photo: Pascal Pavani/AFP

Merouane Benahmed has filed a claim for asylum in Switzerland.

In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: Royal Savoy

On the eve of its inauguration, The Local takes a peek inside the Royal Savoy in Lausanne.

Swiss-EU relations
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
The Swiss President and EU leaders cosy up at the opening of the Gotthard tunnel in June. Photo: Ruben Sprich/AFP

Is the Brexit camp taking note?

Valais man caught driving 100km/hr over speed limit
The speed was recorded by a police radar camera. Photo: Valais police

He could face a four-year prison sentence.

Swiss-EU relations
Row as Swiss MPs give in on EU migrant curbs
The debate over EU immigration became heated in parliament on Wednesday. File photo: Justus Blumer

Is parliament's proposal a necessary solution or the “death of direct democracy”?

Wawrinka continues winning streak in Russia
The Swiss champ during his US Open title match. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP

Top seeded US Open champion Stan Wawrinka cruised comfortably into the last eight at the Saint Petersburg Open.

Sponsored Article
7 tips for learning Swiss French
Photo: AFP
National
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
National
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Photo: File
Politics
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Education
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
Photo: AFP
Society
Swiss ‘slave children’ to finally get compensation
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
Lifestyle
Zurich named ‘greenest’ city on the planet
Photo: Swiss
National
Brawl over seats forces Swiss to abort flight
Photo: Daniel Stockhammer
Culture
Research shows typical Swiss chalets ‘not actually Swiss’
Photo: AFP
National
Switzerland to get nationwide disaster alert system
Photo: S3
National
Swiss space firm boss left badly injured in violent attack
Photo: ETH Zurich
Education
ETH Zurich crowned best uni in continental Europe – again
File photo: Martin Abegglen
National
Report: Swiss citizenship rules leave some stateless
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Fatal crash: pilot told to fly below safe altitude
Photo: Peter Linke
Business & Money
Elderly Italian on benefits stashed €1m in Swiss bank
Photo: Stuart Richards
Society
Court sides with chickens in dispute over noisy henhouse
Photo: SAC
Lifestyle
Hiking: 7 incredible Swiss Alpine Club cabins
Photo: David Abercrombie
National
Swiss politician arrested over illegal entry of migrants
Photo: Coiffure X
National
Chewbacca stolen in ‘terrorist attack’ on Swiss hair salon
Photo: AFP
National
Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
Photo: AFP
National
Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
Photo: The Local
National
Geneva runs out of permits for non-EU workers
Photo:C Carlstead
National
Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
4,315
jobs available