Rizana – Who?

It’s a source of constant amazement how Western nations, desperate to sow democracy throughout the world, happily trample that aim underfoot when dollar bills rear their ugly heads. Democracy, it seems, is far less important than Capitalism.

You didn’t really think they were one and the same, did you? Silly!

Take the latest atrocity perpetrated by that staunch ally and market trader with the West – Saudi Arabia.

From the BBC:

Saudi Arabia has beheaded a Sri Lankan domestic worker for killing a baby in her care in 2005 in a case that has been widely condemned by rights groups.

The maid, Rizana Nafeek, had denied killing the four-month-old boy.

Her supporters say she was only 17 at the time of the killing. They say her execution is a breach of international child rights.

The Sri Lankan government condemned the execution, which it said took place despite numerous clemency pleas.

The Saudi interior ministry said on Wednesday that Ms Nafeek was executed for smothering the infant after an argument with the child’s mother in the town of al-Dwadmi.[1]

The argument here is not whether this girl committed the crime, though that is undoubtedly in dispute. She confessed under duress (read:torture) and was unable to understand the language sufficiently to know what she was confessing to.

The crux is a) that she was executed, and b) the execution was performed in an utterly barbaric manner.

Western nations, with the odd notable exception, have evolved beyond the archaic idea of, “an eye for an eye, etc.”. Even Texas draws the line at beheading.

This teenage girl, in a foreign country with a strange language, and without access to a lawyer, was committed to prison for five years never knowing if she was to live or die. Unhappily, it proved to be the latter.


Human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have criticised the Saudi authorities for their handling of the case, as have campaigners in Sri Lanka, who argue that there were also serious translation problems at the time she confessed to the crime.

They argue that her reported execution breaches the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which Saudi Arabia has ratified.

“Saudi Arabia is one of just three countries that executes people for crimes they committed as children,” said senior HRW women’s rights researcher Nisha Varia,

“Rizana Nafeek is yet another victim of the deep flaws in Saudi Arabia’s judicial system.”

Is it too much to expect those nations with a supposedly deeper respect for humanity and justice than the likes of Saudi Arabia – a dictatorship masquerading as a monarchy – to take economic measures against these despotic regimes, to dissuade them from acting in such a barbaric fashion?

Apparently, it is.

Abdullah holds the key to Arabian oil wells. Saudi has recently placed an order with Britain for fighter aircraft worth billions of pounds. There’s been little mention of the sad fate of the Sri Lankan girl, Rizana Nafeek, in the Western press, and none in the American press. [Google: “Rizana Nafeek” and note how many US media websites carry the story. I found none in the first three pages.]

The doctrine of Capitalism, as we’re all learning, contains no regard whatever for human life – except, of course, when there’s a profit to be had.

[1] “Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek beheaded in Saudi Arabia” BBC, January 9th 2013

2 Replies to “Rizana – Who?”

  1. “Is it too much to expect those nations with a supposedly deeper respect for humanity and justice than the likes of Saudi Arabia”

    Which nations would those be, RJ? You rightly qualified it with “supposedly”. Humanity and justice are scarce everywhere, especially in, or anywhere connected with, the US.

  2. This is the man who sends in drones to kill children in countries where he has no right to be? Who speaks for them?
    Those are the masters.

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