South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

By Sumaiya Rizvi

The family of Rizana Nafeek is hopeful that she will be reunited with her family soon since President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appealed to the Saudi King, Rizana’s mother Fathima Razeena told the Daily Mirror yesterday.

Meanwhile there are reports from Saudi Arabia that Rizana Nafeek will be executed today.

“I know my child will come back to me but at the same time I’m scared of her plight since I have never spoken to her since 2007,” Mrs. Razeena said. Rizana’s Father M.H. Nafeek and her mother had both visited her in Prison in 2007 and they complained that their daughter had been in prison for more than 4 years.

“The Saudi Government does not notify prior to the beheading and in this occasion too if she is beheaded today, which I fear might happen, they will do so and then inform of the beheading,” Housemaid Rights Activist and MP Ranjan Ramanayake said. On previous occasions the Saudi Government beheaded two Sri Lankans who were sentenced to 10 and 15 years in prison, he added.

Rizana’s mother said none from the Government and none of the Muslim Ministers had contacted them with regard to Rizana in the past six months. Even International organizations fighting for Rizana’s release had not contacted the family, Rizana’s Mother said.

“We wanted to protest in front of the Saudi Arabian Embassy but we don’t want to anger them but if they behead Rizana then nothing will stop us from taking it up with the embassy,” Mr. Ramanayake said. People and newspapers were calling us and then we came to know about Rizana’s court case and its verdict over TV and Radio. “My daughter might not know about the new verdict.My relative in Saudi who visits Rizana during her court dates lastly spoke to me last Sunday and she told me that she has not yet been sentenced to death that is what my daughter might have told her,” Mrs. Razeena said.

The family is fasting and praying that the Saudi government releases their daughter soon, Mrs. Razeena said. According to Mrs. Razeena her daughter had complained that everything was taking place in Arabic, and she couldn’t understand the proceedings.

Rizana’s Mother said she and her husband wanted to go and talk to her and be able to bring her back. “People are telling me scary stories about beheading in Saudi Arabia and I’m worried and am having nightmares thinking about what can happen to her,” Mrs. Razeena said.

The family said that her daughter was sent overseas to earn for the family and to send her siblings to school but now her father had found a job as a vendor in the bazaar and was supporting the family.

Rizana is the eldest child in the family of four. Her three siblings are all younger to her. Her brother aged 17 years, two sisters Fathima Rushda and Fathima Ruzna are aged 13 and 11 years old respectively.

Source: Daily Mirror – 29.10.2010