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Even though, Rizana’s father was not told about his daughter’s death, he has heard it at the hospital from the TV

Rizana Nafeek’s death brought shock upon all the Sri Lankans last week. Nobody accepted the penalty because she was given death penalty for something she has never committed. Rizana went to Saudi by forging her age when she was only 17 years old. The death of the baby she was looking after was misunderstood by the police and the lawyers because they speak Malay. Nobody could correct it. The entire world protested against the legal system of that country on behalf of Rizana but all they did was to delay her death and not change her penalty.
‘Mawbima’ newspaper has published an article on how she faced her fate which reveals many a stark realities. Read it below:
“Landlady usually prepares the milk and gives me the bottle of milk to feed the baby. I fed the baby and the baby coughed all of a sudden. I didn’t know what to do. I stroked the baby’s neck and called the lady of the house.  She came and hit me, looked at the baby and advised me to look after him well. Then she left but the baby has been dead by that time. That is all I know”
The case was heard in courts for over a period of two years in Saudi Arabia and the final decision was that Rizana Nafeek was given death penalty for killing a four month old baby while feeding him milk. That was the 16th of June 2007. Even though a Saudi government lawyer has spoken representing Rizana, it is said that he hasn’t spoken on behalf of her. Rizana has been given a translator yet is reported that he is a Malayan National. It is also reported that he hasn’t understood much of what has been told by Rizana because of the differences of languages between Tamil and Malay. Rizana had no choice but to be silent till the story of her fate is been written.  Human Watch organization has done everything possible to save Rizana’s case.
Rizana was poisoned in Dawadam city in Western Riyard which was 400 miles away from Riyad. Rizana wasn’t aware that she was imprisoned till they are able to give her death penalty. President of our country including the opposition requested the king of Saudi Arabia to release her. But none of that could change the ‘Sharia’ law of the country.
Interventions of other nations couldn’t change anything because the law of the country was beyond the King’s control. Only the land lord and the lady of the house where Rizana worked could decide whether Rizana could to be released. That was from blood compensation. Even though Rizana’s land lord was flexible on this matter, her land lady had been certain that Rizana deserves to be punished. It was said that she has been certain that Rizana should be killed.
However, due to the pressure from Sri Lanka and the entire world, the death was delayed. Sri Lanka tried filing an appeal on behalf of Rizana. The appeal case was heard for over three years and in 2012 Saudi Arabia finally decided that she deserve the punishment of execution.
Rizana’s parents got the opportunity to visit their daughter once again after the death penalty was confirmed. Rizana had no idea that the death penalty was given to her. She cried holding her parents hands asking them to whatever possible to save her life.
Her parents have visited her twice but her siblings have not got an opportunity to visit her at all. Rizana has learnt handy-craft and several foreign languages while she had been living in the prison and she has given some of them done using ribbon to be given to her siblings. She has been able to talk to her siblings over the phone. It is yet questionable as to how she got an opportunity to talk over the phone in a country where the rules are very strict. However, the words she has spoken to her siblings are very touching. She has told them “I will be released very soon… I will bring you all soap and powder when I come back.” Dr. Kiyafa Iftikar too had mentioned that she has been saving all the soap she has been given by the prison to be brought back home. All phone calls had been taken to Rizana’s home from the Sri Lanka lady dentist’s mobile phone.
Rizana’s father had been in the hospital when Rizana has received death penalty. He has been hospitalized due to fever and a heart ailment. The staff had known that it had been Rizana’s father yet they have not known that Rizana has been killed. The news had been published by the TV and at that time, her father has been taking a nap. When he had been told, he has cried out loud and his condition too has got worse. Yet he had wanted to be released from the hospital and the staff had done so.
Rizana’s youngest sister Rifana doesn’t remember much of her sister, because she had been very small when her sister had gone abroad. She wouldn’t have known the life her sister was spending in a prison. Rifana is studying for her O/L’s whereas Rizana’s brother had followed her example and started to shoulder the burden of the house.
Her parents have requested the government asking for her dead body. It is reported that the dead body cannot be sent due to the strict rules and regulations practiced by Saudi Government. Rizana has gone abroad with the intention of earning money for the education of her siblings and building their house.
Anyone who sees her house will wonder whether it is a house because it looks that small and shabby. Yet, Rizana’s parents haven’t earned a cent by playing sympathy cards. Even though many have tried to help her, they haven’t accepted any money. The Parliamentarian, Ranjan Ramanayake had once tried to fund them yet the offer had been rejected by her parents. All they have asked for is to release their child: “We don’t want anything, please do something to bring our daughter back to us.”
The Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake stated that if the government had shown more interest earlier, they would have been able to release Rizana. Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement with the UNICEF protect the lives of children in 1998.  Accordingly, Saudi Arabia was bound not to give death penalty to children under the age of 18.The authorities had not taken interest to forward her birth certificate which was in the custody of the school authorities where she studied to prove her real age.
“Even though, the case was heard for over three years, Sri Lankan government has not been able to sent Rizana’s original birth certificates to Saudi Arabia. If our government could prove that Rizana was under age when the baby has died, she would have been pardoned.
People who went to Saudi to talk on behalf of her have spent the money on shopping and had done nothing to save her. None of them have taken the trouble to find her original birth certificate to be taken to Saudi Arabia to be presented at the courts. Had Rizana been an Indian or Malaysian she wouldn’t have faced such a fate. I don’t think that the government who were unable to bring her back while she was alive will ever be able to bring her dead body.” stated the Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake.
Rizana who was planning to earn to make a living for her siblings will never come to Muthur again. We hope that the government which couldn’t do much to save Rizana while she was imprisoned will take actions to make sure not to victimize more Rizanas in future.
Rizana has been collecting the money given to her by the Saudi prisons as an allowance on a daily basis to buy toffees for her siblings.

Newspaper article by Indrachapa Liyanarachchi

Letters published earlier in our web site after Rizana’s execution could be read from BELOW:
Article 1



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