Sri Lankan woman escapes execution in Saudi Arabia
Sri Lankan Deputy Foreign Minister Dr Harsha said an appeal by his government was considered by Saudi Arabia and the execution order was withdrawn.
The woman was convicted in August, along with an unmarried Sri Lankan man. She was sentenced to death by stoning, while the man was sentenced to 100 lashes.
Saudi Arabia agreed to re-open the case of the woman, a 45-year-old mother of two, earlier this month.
Saudi Arabia’s initial decision to stone the woman was condemned in Sri Lanka. Government official Ranjan Ramanayake said the Sri Lankan government was informed about the woman’s case only after she had been convicted, despite the fact she had been arrested in April 2014.
“Islamic Sharia law says four respected Muslims need to be eyewitnesses for this type of case, but this has not been possible in this case,” he said.
“Unfortunately, not knowing the law, she has confessed under pressure without any legal help.”
The case sparked protests in November outside the UN compound and the Saudi embassy in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo – with some calling for a ban on sending Sri Lankan workers to Saudi Arabia.
The Sri Lankan government had said was gradually reducing the number of women sent to work in the Middle East.
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