UAE executes Sri Lankan man for murder, Rights group protests

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SHARJAH (AFP) – A Sri Lankan man has been executed by firing squad in the UAE emirate of Sharjah for murdering an Emirati man eight years ago, media reported on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old man was executed after the victim’s family refused an offer of ‘blood money’, the English-daily Gulf News said.

The Sri Lankan had been convicted of deliberately running the Emirati man over with a vehicle in 2006 following a money dispute, the paper said.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International identified the condemned man as domestic helper Ravindra Krishna Pillai and said the killing occurred “accidentally” in Pillai’s attempt to escape the man, a friend of his employer, after he tried to sexually assault him.

The London-based group had slammed the trial as “unfair”, saying Pillai had had no access to his government-appointed lawyer.

Although the law in the United Arab Emirates includes capital punishment, executions are rare in the Muslim Gulf country, and death sentences are typically commuted to life in prison.

The last execution in the UAE took place in February 2011 in Dubai when authorities executed an Emirati man found guilty of raping and murdering a Pakistani child.

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