Feeds

Saudis to execute Sri Lankan teen

Amnesty condemns legal 'scandal'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Amnesty International has condemned Saudia Arabia's decision to execute a 19-year-old Sri Lankan maid accused of murdering a baby in her care - despite the fact she was 17 at the time of the alleged offence and has denied confessing to the crime.

Rizana Nafeek was arrested in May 2005 in Jeddah and was "believed to have confessed to the murder during police questioning". The Saudi authorites claim she "admitted strangling the four-month-old boy while feeding him with a bottle", the Telegraph reports, although she has since retracted the confession. She insists "the child had begun to choke before losing consciousness in spite of her desperate efforts to clear his airway".

The Sri Lankan government has reportedly filed an appeal on Nafeek's behalf, the deadline for which expires today. Sri Lanka's deputy foreign minister Hussein Bhaila is hoping to head a delegation, including Nafeek's parents and other ministry officials, to Saudi Arabia today - but all were still awaiting visas last night. Unless the authorities amend the sentence or the victim's parents decide on clemency, Nafeek will be publicly beheaded.

Amnesty International notes: "Saudi Arabia is a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which expressly prohibits the execution of offenders for crimes committed when they were under 18 years old."

Amnesty International's UK director Kate Allen said: "It is an absolute scandal that Saudi Arabia is preparing to behead a teenage girl who didn't even have a lawyer at her trial. The Saudi authorities are flouting an international prohibition on the execution of child offenders by even imposing a death sentence on a defendant who was reportedly 17 at the time of the alleged crime."

Suhaila Hammad of Saudi Arabia's National Society for Human Rights countered that an increasing number of crimes could be attributed to the sheer number of foreign workers in the country, and the number of executions has risen accordingly. She added that prisoners "were treated humanely and that beheadings deterred crime".

She concluded: "Should we just think of and preserve the rights of the murderer and not think of the rights of others?"

In 2005, Saudi Arabia carried out 191 executions, the Telegraph notes. The figure last year dropped to 38, but in 2007, "102 have already taken place just over half way through the year". ®

Bootnote

Amnesty International summarises the Saudi legal process thus:

Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of offences. Court proceedings fall far short of international standards for fair trial, and take place behind closed doors.

Defendants normally do not have formal representation by a lawyer, and in many cases are not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them. They may be convicted solely on the basis of confessions obtained under duress, torture or deception.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.