To behead or to hack?

The Saudis strike against Nepali migrant workers once more. Is it not enough to fail to protect them properly in a country renowned for gross human rights abuses?

Now they are going to behead or “hack” a Nepali man for what can only be regarded as manslaughter.

Death stalks Nepali worker stealthily

KATHMANDU, Nov 24: A Nepali worker from a remote village of Dhanusha district, who was recently sentenced to death by a Saudi Arabian court for murdering a Pakistani national five years ago, still unmindful of his tragic fate.

Nobody has informed Umesh Yadav, 31, who hails from Machijhitakaiya village of Dhanusha, that he is going to be beheaded soon as per a death sentence handed down by the Saudi Arabian court a week ago. A Nepali worker convicted in a similar case was hacked to death in Saudi Arabia some 10 years ago.

“He was pretty nervous,” said second secretary at the Nepali Embassy in Saudi Arabia Sagar Phunyal, who met Umesh in a Jubail-based jail, some 500 kilometers east of Riyadh, on Wednesday.

“But, he is yet to know that he has already been sentenced to death. And, Saudi Arabian officials can execute the verdict any time soon.”

According to Phunyal, some jail inmates have told Umesh that he can be hacked to death as per Saudi Arabian laws. However, it is difficult for Umesh to believe what he heard. “I also did not tell him anything,” Phunyal said, adding, “Had I told him about it, he could have lost all hope. I just told him to be patient.”

Umesh, who has a wife and two sons back in his village, had reached Jubail, a Saudi Arabian city, in 2006 to work as a migrant worker.

However, within less than two months after reaching Jubail, Umesh unfortunately engaged himself in a scuffle that ended up in the death of his fellow worker, Mohammad Wasir, a Pakistani national.

“He has confessed his crime. He says he did not kill Wasir intentionally,” Phunyal said. “But, another case of burgling was also filed against him. He does not accept this charge. He says Saudi Arabian police made him admit to this charge as well by severely beating him in the custody.”

He has been languishing in Jubail jail for over five years now. He had once come into contact with his family in Nepal to inform about his condition six months ago. However, his family has yet not approached the embassy. “We are trying to contact them as well,” Phunyal said over phone.

Efforts to save Umesh

Although Umesh has admitted to his crime, and the Saudi Arabian court has already delivered its verdict, the Nepali Embassy has initiated diplomatic efforts to save him. The embassy is all set to write an official letter to the foreign ministry of Saudi Arabia, asking the latter to halt the execution of death sentence for the time being. The date of execution has not been confirmed.

“We are also in touch with the Riyadh-based Pakistani embassy to save Umesh by providing a certain amount of blood money to the family of the deceased,” said Uday Raj Pandey, Nepal´s ambassador to Saudi Arabia. “The Pakistani embassy is positive. If the family of the victim does not turn down our request, we will look forward to collecting blood money.”

via – News in Nepal: Fast, Full & Factual.

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