New York

11 January 2013

Note in response to questions about the execution of a Sri Lankan worker in Saudi Arabia

The Secretary-General is dismayed by the execution this week in Saudi Arabia of Ms.Rizana Nafeek, a young Sri Lankan domestic worker.  He is concerned about reports of irregularities in her detention and trial, as well as the increase in the use of capital punishment in Saudi Arabia. He insists on the application of international human rights law, including the right to a fair trial, for all men and women in Saudi Arabia, irrespectively of their migration status or nationality. Currently, in Saudi Arabia, women do not have equal access to the courts or an equal opportunity to obtain justice. The Secretary-General is concerned that this is a situation which is even more precarious for women migrant workers given their foreign status.