A 15-year-old rape victim has been sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex, court officials said. The charges against the girl were brought against her last year after police investigated accusations that her stepfather had raped her and killed their baby. He is still to face trial. Prosecutors said her conviction did not relate to the rape case.
Zaima Nasheed, a spokesperson for the juvenile court, said the girl was also ordered to remain under house arrest at a children’s home for eight months. Officials said she would receive the punishment when she turns 18, unless she requested it earlier.
The case was sent for prosecution after police were called to investigate a dead baby buried on the island of Feydhoo in Shaviyani Atoll, in the north of the country. Her stepfather was accused of raping her and impregnating her before killing the baby. The girl’s mother also faces charges for failing to report the abuse to the authorities.
‘Degrading and inhumane’
The legal system of the Maldives, an Islamic archipelago with a population of some 400,000, has elements of Islamic law (Sharia) as well as English common law.
Ahmed Faiz, a researcher with Amnesty International, said flogging was “cruel, degrading and inhumane” and urged the authorities to abolish it… This is not the only case. It is happening frequently – only last month there was another girl who was sexually abused and sentenced to lashes.”
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Source: Olivia Lang, BBC News
Image: Sharia Unveiled