The Horn Times Newsletter/Getahune Bekele-South Africa;-
In the first place, the charge was motivated by conjugation of hate and barbarity common in Saudi Arabia. Unable to disavow the accusation labeled against her without a lawyer or even an interpreter, with her hair disheveled and her face hoary with terror, eyes darting from one corner to the other, the Ethiopian woman stood before three heavily bearded Islamic judges silent and motion less.
She does not remember her own name and no one knows for how long she has been subjected to severe abuse by her Saudi employers. No passport or travel document was found in her possessions. The Horn Times is still trying to establish her real name and family address back home in Ethiopia.
Despite the great discrepancy between the police and her employer’s version of the incident, the 26-year-old mentally disabled woman was sentenced to death on Tuesday 24 December 2013, in the capital Riyadh for allegedly killing her abusive employer’s six-year-old girl, Lamis, by slitting her throat.
The court’s bizarre verdict based on conjecture and confession obtained under coercion by the notorious Saudi police, once again exposed the stone-age nature of the country’s legal system, which remains at odds with the international norm or practice.
According to the charge sheet, the battered Ethiopian housemaid slit the throat of Lamis, 6, with a kitchen knife in July 2013 at Hota Bani Tamim, just South of Riyadh. An hour later, police found her trying to hide in the back yard of her employer’s house. Police alleged that the woman resisted arrest and put up a fight but was overpowered and taken into custody.
Delivering the verdict, the presiding judge told the mentally unwell Ethiopian woman who were muttering cryptic words to appeal against the death sentence within 30 days if she wishes to. Under such mental state, it was not clear if the condemned woman was cognizant of her rights.
From sleep and food deprivation, wealthy Saudis are known for dehumanizing foreign domestic workers by isolating them from friends and family, making them to work extra hours, and viewing them as cheap labor or mere commodities. Rape and forced confinement for weeks or months with no payment are still common.
To millions of housemaids from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia; the name Saudi Arabia is a connotation of demonic cruelty and 7th century Arabian barbarism.
According to records, Saudi Arabia has a yearly average of 100 executions and publicly beheaded 27 housemaids in 2010 alone and most of those put to death were vehemently denying any wrongdoing till to the last minute.
Amnesty international says some of those who committed crimes such as murder either were defending themselves or mentally challenged because of prolonged abuse and unspeakable suffering at the hands of their employers.
International law prohibits the application of the death penalty against children under the age of eighteen at the time of the crime being committed, and the implementation of the death penalty on persons suffering from mental retardation or extremely limited mental competence.
However, in January 2013, the Saudi Arabian regime executed an eighteen year-old Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek arrogantly brushing off international condemnation. Several mentally retarded maids were also mercilessly beheaded as the international community continues to tolerate the barbaric oil sheikdom’s nefarious stubbornness.