The Sri Lankan maid who was due to be stoned to death in Saudi Arabia has been granted relief, after Saudi authorities decided not to carry out the sentence, the Sri Lankan government said today.
Speaking at a media briefing this afternoon, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Harsha De Silva said the woman would instead be imprisoned for a period after Saudi authorities decided to commute her death sentence to a prison term.
The decision to commute her death sentence had been made after appeals by the Sri Lankan government on her behalf. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Employment had been in contact with the relevant authorities in Saudi Arabia to seek clemency for the woman, who had been on death row after being found guilty by a Saudi Arabian court on charges of adultery.
The statement issued jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Employment on this matter appears below:
The Appeal against the verdict of the Sri Lankan domestic worker arrested on the charges of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning by the Al Dwadmi Court in Saudi Arabia was taken up on 22nd December 2015.
The Government of Sri Lanka is happy to announce that the appeal for clemency on the sentence was successful and the Sri Lankan national will now have to serve a reduced sentence and serve a term in prison.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Ministry of Foreign Employment and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment undertook the responsibility to safeguard the Sri Lankan national and through the Sri Lanka Mission in Saudi Arabia, extended every assistance to provide legal counsel and consular assistance in order to assist the appeal process.
The Government of Sri Lanka wishes to acknowledge and appreciate the good offices of the Saudi Authorities. The sympathy, the understanding and the concern expressed, and assistance extended by many other parties is also noted and deeply appreciated.