The Tale of Two Nannies

Last week Rizanna Nafeek a nineteen year old  from Sri Lanka who two years before had come to Saudi Arabia to work as a nanny  was beheaded. Just another day down in old Riyadh . She was one of 1.5 million domestic servants who have very few rights  who come from South Asia to work in Saudi.

She had been working for only two weeks when the four month old baby in her care died . She said it had choked on its bottle. Her employers claimed she had strangled the little boy after and argument with her mistress.

There was a confession which she later retracted saying it had been written under duress. There is the very real point that she was 17 at the time of the  “crime”and therefore under Saudi law could not be executed. The courts have never made public the autopsy which  would have  been quite useful  There is considerable doubt about the  quality of the interpretor used.

Neither the family or the Saudi King  responded to appeals for clemency. As far as they were concerned she had it coming to her and anyway in a country where domestics are treated as little more than slaves.. who cares.

A far cry  from Louise Woodward who worked as a nanny in New York in the 1990s. The baby in her care died of a fractured skull and other injuries. She admitted being a bit rough and even dropping the baby on the floor. She was found guilty of murder and  sentanced to at least 15 years.

On appeal it was pointed out that none of the jury believed Louise had deliberately murdered the baby. She had acted in confusion, inexperience and anger but not in cold blooded malice. Her sentence was reduced to one year and she came home.

US does $48bn annual trade with Saudi

UK does $9bn annual trade  with Saudi.

Get real. Stop wingeing.

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