Statement on stoning of migrant worker from the Prime Ministers Task Force on Violence Against Women

The task force on violence against women is shocked that a Sri Lankan migrant worker has been sentenced to death by stoning in Saudi Arabia for the crime of adultery. Adultery is not a crime in Sri Lanka. Besides, the Sri Lankan justice system does not recognize the punishment of stoning. Such a punishment is a violation of right to freedom form torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment guaranteed by our Constitution.

We appeal to the Saudi Arabian government to ensure that this punishment is not carried out. We ask that in an act of clemency the woman migrant worker be permitted to return to her home country.

We call upon the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to initiate as a matter of urgency, discussions with the Saudi Arabian Government on this matter. We also call upon the Sri Lankan government in future to enter into bilateral agreements with Gulf countries that will prevent the imposition of punishments of this nature on Sri Lankan migrant workers.

We also call upon the Bureau of Foreign Employment to give wide publicity to the laws of the Gulf countries and provide information on the punishments imposed for acts considered to be crimes in those countries.

Chairperson and Members – The Task Force on Violence against Women

Prof. Savitri Goonesekara (Chairperson)
Prof. Camena Guneratne
Dr. Sepali Kottegoda
Dr. Anusha Edirisinghe
Dr. Anuruddhi Edirisinghe
Kumuduni Samuel
Savitri Wijesekara
Anberiya Hanifa
Shreen Saroor
Chulani Kodikara
Thevagowry Mahalingasivam