A Saudi Arabian woman convicted of adultery faces being stoned to death but the man she was caught with faces the lesser punishment of 100 lashes.
The married 45-year-old woman, who was working as a maid in Riyadh, and her partner, a single migrant worker from Sri Lanka, were both convicted of the same offence, yet her punishment is far more severe than his.
Upul Deshapriya, a spokesman for the Foreign Employment Bureau told the Reuters:
She has accepted the crime four times in the courts. But the Foreign Employment Bureau has hired lawyers and have appealed against the case.The appeal is going on. Also from the foreign ministry side, they are in negotiation with the Saudi government on a diplomatic level.
Saudi Arabia follows Sharia law, often criticised by human rights groups for being out-dated and overly harsh as it still uses a system of physical punishments such as lashes, and carries the death penalty for crimes such as adultery (for married women) and drug smuggling.
The punishment of stoning sees ‘offenders’ pelted with stones until they are dead and is still carried out in some parts of the Middle East – including in Saudi Arabia, who, somewhat ironically, are currently chairing the United Nations Human Rights Council Panel.
According to a recent statement from Amnesty International over 150 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia this year, mostly by public beheading with foreign guest workers from poor countries being particularly vulnerable as they typically do not know Arabic and are unaware of the complex laws.