Handcuffs-670
File photo

MALE: A 15-year-old in the Maldives whose father is accused of repeatedly raping her and killing the resulting baby risks being flogged for “fornication” with another man under the nation's strict Islamic law, a police source said Monday.

In the course of inquiries into the rape case, investigators say they unearthed evidence of the girl having had consensual sex with another man, which is an offence in the Indian Ocean holiday destination, the source told AFP.

Women, including minors, having consensual sex outside marriage can be charged in the Maldives, where convicts can be publicly flogged. Minors receive the punishment when they reach 18, the age of majority.

The child's step-father is accused by police of repeatedly raping the girl and fathering a child by her which he subsequently murdered. The girl's mother has been charged with helping dispose of the infant's body, police said.

“We completed the investigation (into the murder of the infant) and gave a report to the prosecutor general's office,” Maldivian police spokesman Hassan Haneef told AFP by telephone.

He declined to give details saying that Maldivian common law did not allow the discussion of any case involving a minor.

The local Haveeru newspaper quoted an unnamed official from the prosecutor's office saying that the fornication charge was unrelated to the rape which had been separately dealt with.

The legal system of the Maldives, a nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims known for its coral-fringed islands and sandy beaches, has elements of Islamic Sharia law as well as English common law.

The country carries out the flogging of women despite calls from the UN Human Rights Council to drop the practice.

In September, a Maldivian court ordered a public flogging for a 16-year-old girl who confessed to having pre-marital sex. Her 29-year-old lover was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The gang-rape last month in the Indian capital of a 23-year-old student who subsequently died has also sparked protests over crime against women in neighbouring South Asian nations including Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Opinion

Editorial

Injustice undone
Updated 13 Jul, 2024

Injustice undone

The SC verdict is a stunning reversal of fortunes for a party that was, both before and after general elections, being treated as a defunct entity.
Looming flour shortage
13 Jul, 2024

Looming flour shortage

FOR once, it is hard to argue against the reason that compelled flour mills to call a nationwide strike from...
Same old script
13 Jul, 2024

Same old script

WHEN it comes to the troubling issue of enforced disappearances/ missing persons — either Baloch or belonging to...
Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...