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.