Feeds

Saudis to execute Sri Lankan teen

Amnesty condemns legal 'scandal'

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.