BEIRUT

Middle East

Executed Sri Lankan maid's mother refuses Saudi money

Demonstrators hold up an image of Rizana Nafeek as they shout slogans during a protest against her execution, in Colombo January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

COLOMBO: The mother of a Sri Lankan maid beheaded in Saudi Arabia for murder has rejected offers of cash from Saudi well-wishers following an outcry over the execution, a local newspaper said Friday.

"I will not accept any gifts from the Saudis or the Saudi government which murdered my daughter," Rizana Nafeek's mother, Saiyadu Farina, told the Lankadeepa newspaper according to an excerpt of an interview on its website Friday.

Sri Lankan newspapers say she has received cash offers exceeding two million rupees ($16,000) following the execution which was carried out on January 9 in the Saudi capital Riyadh despite repeated appeals for clemency.

The local Daily Mirror said earlier this week that an advisor to the Saudi royal family had offered 1.0 million dollars to the family out of his own pocket during a visit to Sri Lanka last week.

The impoverished family lives in a make-shift home in the eastern village of Muttur. Nafeek had falsified her age and gone to Saudi Arabia as a maid to earn money to build a proper house for her family, according to family associates.

President Mahinda Rajapakse who had pleaded on behalf of the maid denounced the execution and recalled Sri Lanka's ambassador to Riyadh in protest.

Nafeek was found guilty of smothering an infant in her care after an argument with the child's mother in 2005 when she was 17 years old, the Saudi interior ministry has said.

Human Rights Watch said Nafeek had retracted "a confession" that she said was made under duress. She said the baby died in a choking accident while drinking from a bottle.

The US and the United nations led international condemnation of the Saudi authorities over the execution.

 

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