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Sri Lanka recalls envoy to Saudi Arabia in protest of housemaid execution

Colombo, Jan. 11 (Xinhua-ANI): As a step to declare its displeasure, the Sri Lankan government has recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia with immediate effect after a local housemaid was executed, an official said Friday.

The Sri Lankan housemaid was executed on Wednesday after being in prison for seven years. Yet the Sri Lankan government believed that she was wrongfully convicted and was lobbying with the Saudi government to have her released.

External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunarathne Amunugama told the media that Ambassador Ahamed Javad had been recalled in a show of displeasure by the Sri Lankan government.

Rizana Nafeek was sentenced to death for allegedly murdering the son of her Saudi employer, a four month old infant on May 22, 2005, while she was bottle-feeding the infant.

Rizana claims the baby accidentally choked while the parents claim she committed pre-meditated murder.

Nafeek, who was 17 years old at the time, had gained employment in Riyadh as a domestic worker through an employment agency that changed her age on the official documents to make it appear that she was 23 years old in order to be eligible for employment.

The case sparked widespread condemnation from international organizations and local activists, eventually leading to stricter regulations being imposed on foreign employment agencies. (Xinhua-ANI)