The small Islamic nation of the Maldives has been rocked by the decision of a court to sentence a 15 year old girl who had been abused for many years to 100 lashes for engaging in pre marital sex.
The registrar for the Juvenile Court confirmed Wednesday that the sentence had been imposed Tuesday, after the girl confessed during a court hearing to the charge of fornication.
“She’s staying in a children’s home now so we have ordered her to remain in a children’s home,”
registrar Zaima Nasheed Aboobakur told CNN.
“We have explained to her how if she wants to receive the punishment (the lashings) right now she can … or it can be postponed until she turns 18,” she added.
The 15 year old was being investigated after the body of a baby was found outside her home amid suspicions she had been sexually abused by her stepfather; during the investigation the girl admitted to having consensual sex with another man.
As a strict Muslim country the Maldives bans pre marital sex and sentenced the girl to receive her punishment when she turns 18, until then she will be held under house arrest.
The deceased baby is thought to be the offspring of the girl and her stepfather, who has been charged with various crimes that could total 25 years in jail.
Both the Maldavian government and Amnesty International have beeged the court to be lenient because of the 15 year old’s troubled history.
Amnesty International described the charges against he girl as ‘outrageous’.
A spokesman said: ‘Victims of rape or other forms of sexual abuse should be given counselling and support – not charged with a crime.
‘Flogging is a violation of the absolute prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
‘The Maldivian authorities should immediately end its use regardless of circumstances. The fact that this time a 15-year old girl who has suffered terribly is at risk makes it all the more reprehensible’.
‘Flogging is not only wrong and humiliating, but can lead to long-term psychological as well as physical scars.’