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Saudis behead girl for death of infant

Jan. 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch has condemned the execution in Saudi Arabia of a Sri Lankan woman convicted of killing a baby in her care in 2005 when she was 17 years old.

The Saudi Interior Ministry announced Wednesday that Rizana Nafeek had been put to death, Human Rights Watch said.

"Saudi Arabia is one of just three countries that executes people for crimes they committed as children," said Nisha Varia, HRW senior women's rights researcher said. "Rizana Nafeek is yet another victim of the deep flaws in Saudi Arabia's judicial system."

Sri Lankan government sources said Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry issued instructions for Nafeek's execution, the rights organization said.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa appealed to Saudi King Abdullah Sunday, asking that the execution be stayed to determine if a settlement could be reached between the baby's family and a Saudi reconciliation committee.

Nafeek had been working in Saudi Arabia for two weeks in 2005 when the family's 4-month-old baby died while in her care. After retracting a confession she said was made under duress, Nafeek said the baby choked to death while drinking from a bottle. Nafeek had been in prison since 2005.

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