Sunday, 27 January 2013

Beheading in Saudi Arabia

It certainly is astonishing to learn about such a practice but it is indeed true, particularly in a country whose legal system supports this.  Saudi Arabia’s law to behead a criminal who has been convicted and found guilty is criticized by the international world.  In fact, the recent incident had the UN highlighting how it does not endorse this law in any way.  Other organizations namely, Amnesty International have voiced their oppositional stance on this law.  In recent news a female was found and convicted of killing the very child she was supposed to care for as a maid in Saudi Arabia.  
So we get the picture that this government appears to be going to inhumane lengths but at what point do we stop to ask ourselves the underlying cause? I think the issue isn’t the victim but why she was made a criminal in a country foreign to her.  It seems to me that the matter is more than the mere beheading of someone.  In order to judge we need to be fair and unfortunately the law in many countries is far from that. 

The criminal whose name was Rizana Nafeek, was of Sri Lankan decent.  Her crime is that she was found guilty of killing an infant and for that she was beheaded according to the law of the country she was working in.  It may seem unfair but regardless of what nationality one is the law in a country one works or resides in is the binding law.  So some may think that I agree with her sentence but that’s not true, I disagree with this law because I don’t see it being the best method of penalizing someone legally but whose not to say that our method for example in the U.S. where we put people in prison on a life sentence is any different.  What is any different than a life in which one isn’t living, but merely motioning day by day until the last second the last breathe they have is in the confounds of a cellar. 

The real underlying issue is that this female lied to leave her country, about her age mainly in order to find work and make herself a better life.  It’s terrible that this tragedy happened and that she was the victim of this rather harsh Saudi Arabian law but the root of the cause and why she was in a foreign country is because of her own accord.  Her own country, Sri Lanka’s inability to find out that she had committed fraud to leave out of the country (by documenting that she wasn’t a minor) and their inability to provide or help those citizens in need, that is the cause.  For a minor to feel that she has to take the weight on her shoulder to provide for herself and assist her family back home is a scenario that several impoverished women face.  Her soul weighs heavily on all females everywhere, on those of us that struggle day by day to make ends meet and those of us that meet a rather bleak ending. 

Thoughts go out to her family in prayer.

By: Juliet Abdeljawad


  1. Near as I can tell she was in prison for nearly six years before her sentence was carried out. Many countries reached out to the government over those years. She may have been framed, it may have been an accident, it may have been empassioned vengeance. In the end an infant is dead and then the young woman, too. You are right to call into question the process by which we react to this and begin to advocate for intervention. It is on the conscience of a society to punish a criminal in balance, but also to wish to go back in time and prevent the thousand turns that led to the point of no return.

  2. Juliet Abdeljawad2 March 2013 at 01:18

    Thank you for your comment Christopher! Indeed, I've heard several variations to this case, and there isn't really one source over another to believe. Your last statement is very matter of fact and I entirely agree. To find a just punishment without having repercussions thereafter is something several societies including Saudi Arabia, will find difficult to overcome.