In­hu­man Pun­ish­ment

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

Amid con­cerns of grow­ing rad­i­cal­ism, the Mal­dives con­tin­ues to move to­wards im­ple­ment­ing Is­lamic reg­u­la­tions. The lat­est step in this di­rec­tion is the new reg­u­la­tions en­acted by the Supreme Court of the Mal­dives on the en­force­ment of flog­ging and spec­i­fy­ing con­di­tions and cri­te­ria for met­ing out the pun­ish­ment. Ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tions, the of­fender must be of sound mind, must not be preg­nant and must not have an ill­ness that could en­dan­ger his or her life due to flog­ging. More­over, a sen­tence for flog­ging must be im­ple­mented after the con­vict has ei­ther ex­hausted the ap­peal process or de­clined to ap­peal the ver­dict in the spec­i­fied pe­riod.

Ac­cord­ing to statis­tics from the Depart­ment of Ju­di­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tion, of the 129 cases of pre-mar­i­tal sex in 2011, 104 peo­ple were sentenced, out of which 93 were fe­male. This in­cluded 10 un­der­age girls, 79 women aged 1840, and four women above 40 years. In 2009, the Amnesty In­ter­na­tional called for a mora­to­rium on the “in­hu­mane and de­grad­ing pun­ish­ment” when a woman fainted after re­ceiv­ing 100 lashes.

In Novem­ber 2011, UN High Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man Rights Navi Pil­lay urged the au­thor­i­ties to im­pose a mora­to­rium on flog­ging and to foster na­tional di­a­logue and de­bate “on this is­sue of ma­jor con­cern.” How­ever, her re­marks sparked protests in the coun­try and drew con­dem­na­tion from the Is­lamic Min­istry, NGOs and po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

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