Saturday, June 07, 2008

Young Sri Lankan Maid's Saga...

The case of Rizana Nafeek has been in the news for three years, now. Three years! A young - very young - woman came to the Sandbox from Sri Lanka to be a maid via a recruitment agency that "forged" her age on her passport showing her to be 23 years old, when she was just 17 [thus, not legally allowed to come here to work]. Although she was supposed to work in a Saudi household as a maid, she instead became that household's "nanny," a job for which she had absolutely no experience, and assumed the responsibility for taking care of the Saudi family's TEN children, including a four-month old baby boy. Rizana had been on the job for only two weeks when the the baby died; the parents of the infant accused her of strangling their child.

Apparently, Rizana, who does NOT speak Arabic, initially "confessed" to the crime but "during the trial she explained that the confession ... made shortly after her arrest at a police station with no translator ... was made under pressure... and Rizana Nafeek was found guilty of murder with no legal representation." On June 16, 2007, the court "condemned her to execution by beheading."

All of the 29 articles which have been published in the Arab News can be found here.

On Monday, for the fourth time, Rizana's case will again be brought before the court system. Perhaps we will find out then if this unfortunate young woman's life will be spared. And, although I am no attorney, it seems to me that there are mitigating factors in this case to be considered, and that ALL of the parties involved in the matter need to be held responsible for their actions: the recruiter at the employment agency in Colombo who forged Rizana's age on documents, the employment agency here in the Sandbox that provided the job for her as a "maid," and the Saudi family who falsely sponsored her as a "maid" and instead required her to be a nanny for their ten children!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Meter