By Daniel Shane
Unnamed defendant was in September found guilty of murdering four-year old girl
An Indonesian national was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia on Sunday after being found guilty of murdering a four-year old girl in her care in September.
English language newspaper Saudi Gazette reported that the unnamed woman, who worked as a house maid, was also handed an eight-month jail term and 200 lashes by judges at Yanbu General Court for attempted suicide.
The woman’s lawyers said they would be appealing the verdict. The death sentence was reportedly handed down after the family of four-year old Tala Al-Shehri rejected a payment of blood money, a form of monetary compensation paid in lieu of a custodial or capital sentence.
Al-Shehri was said to have been found decapitated while in the care of the housemaid.
The frequency and manner in which capital punishment has been handed down in Saudi Arabia has come under international scrutiny in recent months.
In October, Saudi Arabia beheaded a young Sri Lankan housemaid after rejecting appeals by her home country against her death sentence for the killing of an infant left in her care in 2005. The case drew considerable controversy as Rizana Nafeek was apparently just 17 at the time of infant’s death.
Last week, the kingdom executed seven men found guilty of armed robbery, state media said, with all of the convicted again said to have been minors at the time of the crime being committed.
According to rights group Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia executed 82 in 2011, and a similar number last year.