Britain has condemned the beheading of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia. Commenting on reports that Sri Lankan national Rizana Nafeek, was executed yesterday in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, British Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said UK opposes all use of the death penalty as a matter of principle, whatever the crime committed. He said the beheading of Ms Nafeek is particularly concerning as reports suggest she may have been a child of 17 at the time the crime was committed. “We also find the practice of beheading to be particularly cruel and inhuman. We continue to raise our concerns about human rights with the Saudi authorities, including its frequent use of the death penalty,” he said. Meanwhile EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said she was deeply dismayed by the information that Sri Lankan national Ms Rizana Nafeek was executed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On numerous occasions, the EU had called for the execution to be commuted and had asked the authorities to exercise all their powers in order to grant her relief from the death penalty. The EU noted that Rizana Nafeek was most probably a minor at the time of the crime. “I recognise the serious nature of the crime involved and express my sincere sympathy to the family of the victim. However, I do not believe that their loss has been mitigated by Ms Nafeek’s death. The EU opposes the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances and calls for a global moratorium as a first step towards its universal abolition. Capital punishment represents an irreversible loss of human life,” she said.]]>


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