Corpun file 25919 at www.corpun.com
Minivan News, Malé, 5 July 2009
Woman faints after 100 lashes, says judge
By Maryam Omidi
An 18-year-old woman was flogged in public outside the Justice
Building and sentenced to a year of house arrest today for having
Rahma Abdulla from Seenu Feydhoo Keeranmaage received 100
lashes after confessing to having extra-marital sex with a man
named Shareef and another named Adam Suhail, Shaviyani Foakaidhoo
Musthareege, on two separate occasions earlier this year.
Rahma was taken to hospital after the lashing; although an
official at Criminal Court said she had tripped on a step and
hurt her leg, Judge Abdulla Mohamed, chief judge of the Criminal
Court, said she fainted.
Abdulla said the courts could not prosecute the two men as Rahma
was unable to provide any details about the first man and the
second man denied his involvement.
Latest statistics from the department of judicial
administration's website reveal that in 2006, out of 184 lashed
for extra-marital sex, 146 were women.
Speaking to Minivan News MP for Galolhu Eva Abdulla said,
"It seems a bit disproportionate considering there always
has to be two people involved.
She further pointed to other forms of corporal punishment in
Sharia law, which were not practiced in the Maldives.
"We don't cut off the hands of all those who steal and we
don't implement the death sentence so why do we continue with
these very inhumane practices, especially when the statistics
show that the victims are women," she said.
But, Judge Abdulla said more women were sentenced than men
because while men were able to deny the crime, pregnancy often
implicated women in extra-marital sex.
"A man after making this problem will go and maybe the woman
will have relations with more than one man and won't know who was
responsible or the man denies it," he said.
Without a confession, extra-marital sex cases are very difficult
to prosecute, he said, as they required the testimony of four
witnesses for each of those involved.
While she did not comment on this specific case, Jeehan Mahmoud
from the Human Rights Commission Maldives (HRCM) said the
Maldives was signatory to both the Convention Against Torture and
the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture.
Under these international human rights instruments, any act which
causes severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, and
is used as a punishment is prohibited.
Judge Abdulla said the goal was not to cause injury to the
offender and the person administering the punishment was not to
raise his arm higher than his shoulder.
Flogging is dispensed with a leather paddle called a duraa in the
On why floggings were public, Abdulla said the method was
prescribed in the Qur'an and its purpose was to act as a
"Because the public should know this lady or man have done
these things and they will stay away from these things," he
Speaking to Minivan News today, documentary filmmaker Ali
Rasheed, said he hoped both the HRCM and the gender department in
the health ministry would condemn the act.
While both Rasheed and Eva said they were "shocked" to
hear about the lashing, Abdulla said public floggings were common
in the Maldives, and the last one was carried out on 30 June.
Further, around 200 people found guilty of extramarital sex were
awaiting the punishment.
Rasheed, who has made two films about violence against women,
said an interview with one woman, who had been sentenced to
flogging, revealed the practice left behind indelible
He added most Islamic countries had abolished the practice.
"People who support these kinds of acts will immediately
bring religion into it and then the public are too afraid to
speak," said Rasheed. "I am sure most Maldivians
wouldn't support inhumane acts like this."
© Copyright Minivan News
Corpun file 21498 at www.corpun.com
The Independent, London, 23 July 2009
Dozens of Maldives women face flogging
By Andrew Buncombe
Click to enlarge
Almost 150 women living in the Maldives face a public flogging
for indulging in extra-marital sex after being convicted by the
Muslim country's conservative courts. Around 50 men also face the
Earlier this month, an 18-year-old woman fainted after she was
flogged 100 times for having sex with two different men. The men
were acquitted. One escaped punishment simply because he denied
Judge Abdulla Mohamed, told the islands' Minivan News that
flogging was a deterrent. "The public should know this lady
or man have done these things," he said. But Amnesty
International's Maldives specialist, Abbas Faiz, called flogging
"a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment." The most
recent statistics show that 184 people were sentenced to flogging
in 2006 for extra-marital sex. Of those 146 were women, with most
of the sentences still to be carried out.
Since the case was publicised there have been protests in
support of flogging, some calling for the deportation of a
British journalist, Maryam Omidi, who reported the incident in
Minivan News. "It's hard to tell whether this is indicative
of a wider feeling," Omidi said. "People are afraid to
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