Rizana Nafeek Sentence to Death Without a Postmortem Report
The newly obtained signed statement of Rizana Nafeek of Muthur, Sri Lanka, the housemaid who is now languishing in the Death Row in Saudi Arabia has shed new light in her case and how her case was badly handled by the Sri Lankan Embassy Officials in Saudi Arabia, as well as by the lawyer who has been retained on her behalf.
According to the available information, Rizana Nafeek , retracted her confession at the court hearing, on 3rd February 2007, and informed the court that her original confession admitting to the killing of the child had been obtained by the Police under duress.
Asian Tribune is now in possession of the new statement prepared in the Tamil language by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Saudi Arabia and subsequently it was taken to Dawadami Prison where she was locked up and obtained her signature and her thump impression on the document.
The same statement in Tamil which was approved and signed by Rizana Nafeek is given below and also the English translation of the same. The English translation was made by the staff of the Asian Tribune.
The Arabic translation of the document was done by a Third Secretary of the Sri Lanka Embassy.
When one goes through the statement signed by Rizana Nafeek dated 2007. 01.30, at Al Dhawadhimi Prisons, there was so many important points in favour of Rizana and saving her from executioner’s blade, but unfortunately those points were not taken into serious consideration.
They are as follows:
1. “The sub agent called Bajurdeen deceitfully changed my date of birth as 02.02.1982 and issued me a passport whereas my actual date of birth is 02.02.1988.”
She has made an allegation that one sub agent called Bajurdeen has “deceitfully changed my date of birth and obtained a passport stating her date of birth as 02.02. 1982.”
One wonders whether Sri Lanka Government has taken any action in this regard.
Even it is not too late now for the Sri Lankan Police to take appropriate action against the sub-agent, and the recruitment agent who were involved in changing Rizana’s date of birth and obtaining a passport and sending her to Saudi Arabia, as a House Maid and put her in this precarious plight.
Also, the Sri Lankan police has to investigate how the recruitment agency has managed to obtain a forged Birth Certificate and also the role of the Immigration Department in issuing a Passport bearing No. N. 0331835 based on forged birth certificate.
Asian Tribune learnt the copy of the original passport is with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the police can obtain a photocopy of the same to initiate investigation.
2. “I arrived at Saudi Arabia on 2005.04.01 as my first visit. I was employed at the residence of my Saudi Madam for a period of 1 ½ months.”
Rizana Nafeek’s statement reveals that she arrived in Saudi Arabia on 2005. 04.01. But according to media reports, and so far it was reported that she arrived in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 4th May, 2005, to work as a housemaid in the household of her sponsor, Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al Otaibi, whose wife had a new-born baby boy.
A few days after her arrival in Riyadh, Rizana Nafeek had been transferred by her sponsor to work in his family household in Dawadami, about 390 km west of Riyad.
While she was bottle-feeding the infant around 12.30 p.m.(on 25th May, 2005), the baby-boy started choking, as so often happens to babies and Rizana panicked and shouted for help, while tried to sooth the child by stroking the it’s throat, neck and face, doing whatever she could to help him. At her shouting the mother arrived, but by that time the baby was either unconscious or dead.
3. But according to Rizana Nafeek statement: “When I was feeding the infant, I noticed that the milk was oozing through the mouth and nose of the infant. I stroke the throat of the infant gently. As the infant was seen having its eyelids closed, I thought that it was snoozing.
She states that , “When I was feeding the infant, I noticed that the milk was oozing through the mouth and nose of the infant.”
According to her version, when she was bottle feeding, “I noticed that the milk was oozing through the mouth and nose of the infant.” This clearly reveals the question of choking while feeding does not arise.
Asian Tribune contacted a leading Doctor in Sweden and sought clarification from him regarding milk oozing out through the nose and mouth of the infant.
The Swedish Doctor explained that there could have been a “Stop” anywhere between the oral cavity and Esophagus, (Latin – œsophagus).( Swedish -Oesophagoes)
When there is a ‘Stop’, the milk will not go into the stomach, but will ooze out. This might also be a symptom, that it may be either due congenital or existence of a tumor. Therefore it can be also assumed that when the milk the house maid bottle-fed oozed out, the child might have already passed away.
When the milk oozed out of the nose and mouth of the 4 month old baby, Rizana in her statement says that “I stroke the throat of the infant gently.” When she stated, stroking the infant’s throat, there might have been an impression, a red mark in the infant throat due to stroking, which might have made others to come at a wrong conclusion that Rizana must have squeezed the infant child’s throat to death.
See those images attached about the oral cavity, and the nasal cavity all joining the Esophagus and once there is a ‘Stop’ in Esophagus there is a tendency for the bottle-fed milk to ooze out through mouth and nose.
4. She further states that the madam -, the mother of the 4 month old infant child, “The madam came home at about 1.30 p.m. and after having seen the infant, she assaulted me with slippers and hands and took the infant away. Blood oozed from my nose. Thereafter police came and took me into their custody.
5. She further states “I was assaulted at the police station too. They assaulted me with belt and coerced me for a statement stating that I had strangled the infant.
6. She concludes her statement that, “In these circumstances, I under duress placed my signature on the written paper they gave to me. They took me to another place and asked a question, As I was virtually in a state with loss of memory and in fear and frightened mood, I had happened to tell them that I strangled the infant.
7. In the name of Allah, I swear and aver that I never strangled the infant baby.
The Dawadami Police who arrested Rizana Nafeek has threatened and intimidated her and obtained a statement accepting that she killed the child.
But the police have failed to take the dead infant for a postmortem to find out the cause of the death of the infant - a serious lapse on the part of the Dawdami Police.
The High Court of Dhawdami it is learnt has decided on a murder case without a post mortem report to determined the cause of death and has simply gone on the police evidence and on the earlier statement of the accuse - Rizana Nafeek and passed a judgement of death on 16 June 2007.
Furthermore, it is not known whether Saudi law firm Khateb Al-Shammary who represented Rizana in the Supreme Court took up the issue of the “postmortem”.
It was unfortunate that Dawdami High Court and the Saudi Supreme Court have overlooked the most important information – the cause death – the absence of a postmortem report – the scientific evidence of the cause of death, before sentencing an innocent teenage Muslim Girl to death.
This statement made without any prejudice on anyone.
English translation of the Rizana Nafeek statement made on 30 January 2007:
Al Dhawadhimi Prisons,
I, Rizana Nafeeq, - who is presently confined in Al Dhawadhimi Prisons on the allegation of homicide - state as follows:
I have already made a first statement to the officials of High Commission of Sri Lanka on the above mentioned allegation.
I am making this statement instead of the statement given to the officials of High Commission of Sri Lanka on this allegation. I am making this statement as I am in good mental condition.
My address in Sri Lanka is – M.S.Nafeeq, Shafi Nagar, Muttur.
My actual age is 19 years old.
My date of birth is 02.02.1988.
The sub agent called Bajurdeen deceitfully changed my date of birth as 02.02.1982 and issued me a passport whereas my actual date of birth is 02.02.1988.
I arrived at Saudi Arabia on 2005.04.01 as my first visit. I was employed at the residence of my Saudi Madam for a period of 1 ½ months. There was no problem to narrate of. I was assigned to do cooking, washing and looking after a four months infant.
As soon as I was brought to this house, I was employed to look after this infant. I had been amenable and maintained good rapport with the house people.
The inadvertent incident, I could not recollect the date of the incident, happened at about 12.30 p.m on one Sunday. The house people whosoever was not at home at that time. In addition to the four months old infant, there were male and female children as well. Usually, I am the one who used to feed milk to that four month-old infant. The day of the incident too, I fed the infant with milk.
When I was feeding the infant, I noticed that the milk was oozing through the mouth and nose of the infant. I stroke the throat of the infant gently. As the infant was seen having its eyelids closed, I thought that it was snoozing..
The madam came home at about 1.30 p.m. and after having seen the infant, she assaulted me with slippers and hands and took the infant away. Blood oozed from my nose. Thereafter police came and took me into their custody. I was assaulted at the police station too. They assaulted me with belt and coerced me for a statement stating that I had strangled the infant. They intimidated me that I would have been killed in the event I was adamant not to give a statement to the effect that I strangled the infant and electrocuted, I would be killed.
In these circumstances, I under duress placed my signature on the written paper they gave to me. They took me to another place and asked a question, As I was virtually in a state with loss of memory and in fear and frightened mood, I had happened to tell them that I strangled the infant. In the name of Allah, I swear and aver that I never strangled the infant.
I hereby place my signature after having read this statement.
- Asian Tribune -