Sri Lankan Maid In Saudi Arabia Given Death Penalty For Adultery, Partner To Receive 100 Lashes

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A woman working in Saudi Arabia found guilty of adultery has been sentenced to death by stoning, while her partner will receive 100 lashes because he is single.

The married 45-year-old Sri Lankan woman worked as a maid in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, since 2013, and reportedly had an affair with a migrant worker from her home country, Reuters reported. In August, under Sharia, or Islamic law, she was sentenced to the death penalty for her transgression.

Saudi Arabia's version of Sharia law issues the death penalty for crimes such as adultery by married woman, drug smuggling and witchcraft, according to Reuters. It is not uncommon for stoning to be chosen as the method of death.

Sri Lanka is calling on Saudi Arabia to pardon the woman.

“She has accepted the crime four times in the courts,” Upul Deshapriya, spokesman for the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, told Reuters. "But the Foreign Employment Bureau has hired lawyers and have appealed against the case. The appeal is going on. Also from the foreign ministry side, they are in negotiation with the Saudi government on a diplomatic level.”

Requests for comment on whether the plea for clemency will be accepted were not given by officials from the Saudi Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, reported Reuters.

More than 150 people have been put to death in Saudi Arabia this year, according to Amnesty International. It is the highest recorded figure for the country since 1995.

Almost half of the executions did not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty may be used under international human rights law, reported Amnesty International. 

Sources: Reuters, Amnesty International / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons