July 9, 2007 (LBO) – A Hong Kong based rights body has offered to foot a part of the legal fees to appeal the case of a young Sri Lankan girl condemned to death in Saudi Arabia with time rapidly running out to appeal her case. The Asian Human Rights Commission is urging the Sri Lanka government to appeal the case of Rizana Naffeek, who was accused of killing a baby that died while it was being bottle fed. The deadline for the appeal is July 16.
AHRC had also launched a world wide urgent appeal asking the father of the dead baby to pardon the Sri Lankan teenager.
The rights body said the girl was 17 years old at the time and had traveled to the desert kingdom to work as a housemaid on a falsified passport which showed she was older, and the baby’s death was not deliberate.
“There is ground for concern as the deadline for filing the appeal is approaching. The Sri Lankan government has not made a decision to pay the legal costs, nor has it replied to others who have volunteered to help in this matter,” Moon Jeong Ho of the Asian Human Rights Commission said in a statement.
“Given the past experience of four other Sri Lankan who faced the death sentence in Saudi Arabia without any legal assistance being given