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Last updated: 22 July, 2005 - Published 18:54 GMT
 
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AI appeal : ‘Save Lankans in Saudi’
 
Saudi King
King Fahd has the final say on the fate of three Sri Lankans
London based Human rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) issued a special appeal on three Sri Lankans facing executions in Saudi Arabia.

The AI urged those concerned to call on the King to alter their death sentences.

Sri Lankans DD Ranjith de Silva, EJ Victor Corea, and Sanath Pushpakumara are facing execution after they were sentenced to death by a Saudi court for robberies and threatening civilians.

“The three Sri Lankan men have reportedly had their death sentences referred to the King, which is the final appeal stage of Saudi Arabia’s secretive judicial system. The King may grant clemency, but if he chooses to ratify their sentences, they could be executed at any time,” stated the AI urgent appeal issued on Friday.

'Fateful Fridays'

Speaking earlier with bbcsinhala.com website from his prison cell at al-Hair jail in Riyadh, Ranjith Silva said the inmates do not usually sleep on Thursday nights as ‘fateful Fridays’ arrive.

 Court proceedings fall far short of international standards for fair trial, and take place behind closed doors
 
Amnesty International

The Sri Lankan government has appealed to Saudi authorities to reduce their sentences. The Saudi authorities yet to confirm whether the King has received their appeal, de Silva said.

According to the AI, at least 55 people, two thirds of whom were foreign nationals, are known to have been executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year.

“Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of offences. Court proceedings fall far short of international standards for fair trial, and take place behind closed doors”.

The inmates told BBC Sandeshaya that they were denied an initial fair trial as the Embassy authorities failed to provide them with legal assistance.

 
 
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