Fresh hopes for pardon of Lankan housemaid Rizana


RIYADH: A Sri Lankan delegation visiting Dawadmi, 380 km from the capital, was given a warm welcome by the Otaibi tribe leader Mohamed Faihan Shoraim Al-Otaibi on Thursday.

The high-powered delegation led by Sri Lanka’s Western Province Gov. Alavi Mowlana met the tribal leaders of the Otaibi family on Thursday to seek pardon for Rizana Nafeek.

Nafeek was convicted of murdering a four-month-old infant in Dawadmi on May 2005. The warm welcome accorded to the visiting panel raised fresh hopes for the release of death row housemaid Nafeek.

Other members of the visiting team included Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Ministry Secretary Nissanka N. Wijeratne, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) Chairman Kingsley Ranawake, External Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary Ibrahim Sahib Ansar, Mohammed Sheriff Mohammed Thowfeek, a Sri Lankan member of Parliament who works in Nafeek’s constituency, Abdul Hameed Mohammed Azwer, senior legislator, Muslim Theologians Council Secretary-General M.S.M. Thassim and Imran Jamaldeen and M.B.M. Zarook.

According to legal experts, Nafeek can only be saved if she is pardoned by the victim’s family. The pardon can be offered with or without a request for blood money.

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Note by the editor: The possibility of pardon by the victim’s family is a speciality of the Islamic Law. In Western law this possibility does not exist. This is another beautiful difference which the West should adopt!

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