UN is dismayed at execution of Sri Lankan woman in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia

The United Nations says it's dismayed at the beheading of a young Sri Lankan woman in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says Rizana Nafeek, who arrived in Saudi Arabia from Sri Lanka in 2005 to work as a housemaid was charged with the murder of her employer's baby, a week after her arrival.

Independent UN human rights experts have expressed concern about the imposition of the death penalty for an alleged crime committed when Ms Nafeek was still below eighteen years of age

Rupert Colville is the Spokesperson for the UN human rights office in Geneva.

"Despite a birth certificate that allegedly showed she was a minor at the time of the baby’s death and repeated expressions of concern from the international community, she was convicted of murder, sentenced to death and beheaded. 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, that language interpretation was poor, and Ms Nafeek's contention that she was physically assaulted and forced to sign a confession under duress."

 (Duration: 31")

Colville says the UN human rights office notes with great concern the sharp increase in the use of capital punishment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2011.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, he adds, strongly supports the global movement away from the death penalty.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'19"

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