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Young woman hours away from ritual public beheading

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Rizana-NafeekWITH one brutal sweep of a mediaeval sword Rizana Nafeek's head will be removed from her body  and fly into the assembled crowds of ghoulish spectators.


This is 21st century justice Saudi style.

And for Nafeek, a 23-year-old being killed for a crime she says she did not commit, it is a sentence with no appeal proceedings.

Nafeek has been convicted of killing a four-month-old baby in her care.

However, she has proof she was a young teenager at the time of the alleged offence and that the baby had died as she attempted to prevent it from choking not as a result of a murderous act.

Human rights groups have pointed out that the Saudi Arabia authorities have mixed up paperwork and have her age wrong.

The authorities have her date of birth as 1982 however her birth certificate states she was born in 1988 - making her 17 at the time of the alleged incident.

This means that if Nafeek is beheaded this week Saudi Arabia would be in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it has ratified.

She had no legal representation before or during her trial.

According to the rules of execution Nafeek will blindfolded, shackled, dressed in a white robe and be marched into a packed town centre.

She will be forced to kneel facing Mecca then prodded between the shoulders so her head jolts upwards and finally executed with one sweep of a sharply-bladed sword.

Amnesty International has condemned the conviction and since revealed Rizana was not allowed to produce her birth certificate which shows her true age during an appeal trial.

The charity's Middle East director Malcolm Smart said at the time: “It would be outrageous if Rizana Nafeek were to be executed for this crime.

“It appears that she was herself a child at the time and there are real concerns about the fairness of her trial.”

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