Philippine murder convict executed in Saudi Arabia

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Manila, Jan 31 (IANS) A female Filipino murder convict was executed this week in Saudi Arabia after being found guilty under the Islamic Shariah law, the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.

The woman, executed on Tuesday, worked as a domestic help in Saudi Arabia, reports Efe news.

“The Department regrets that it was not able to save the life of the Filipina after the Saudi Supreme Judicial Council classified her case as one in which blood money does not apply under Shariah law,” the Department said in a statement.

According to Islamic law, the “blood money” system allows the commutation of a capital sentence for murder if the family of the victim accepts payment in lieu of the punishment.

During the trial, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh provided legal assistance to the woman, sent representatives to meet her in prison and kept her family informed of developments.

The Department has withheld details of the crime.

The controversy over abuse and exploitation of Filipino workers abroad escalated in February 2018 when the body of Joanna Demafelis, a 29-year old Filipino maid, was found in the freezer of her employers’ house in Kuwait after she had been missing for a year.

The incident led to President Rodrigo Duterte banning Filipino workers from going to Kuwait, which later expelled the Philippine Ambassador, although the two countries normalized ties in May and the ban was lifted.

According to official data, around 3,000 Filipinos leave the country every day on temporary foreign work permits, with many heading to Arab countries, where women tend to work as domestic help while men are mostly employed in the construction sector.



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