The story of a 15-year-old rape victim being sentenced to 100 lashes in Maldives continues to make headline news in the UK.
The headline in Thursday’s Independent read, “Traumatised 15-year-old girl ‘raped by her stepfather who then murdered baby’ is sentenced to 100 lashes in the Maldives – for having pre-marital sex
“Teenage girl’s stepfather accused of raping and impregnating her, before murdering the resultant baby.”
The stories in both the Independent and the Daily Mail are drawing dozens of comments from outraged readers.
Daily Mail reader Lou K. of Surrey, England wrote that he will boycott the Maldives over the incident, “Well the Maldives used to be on my list of places to visit. It’s not any more. They don’t deserve the tourism they get.”
“The Punisher from Darlington, England wrote, “Another Islamic shariah “paradise”. And coming soon, to a district near you, courtesy of those escaping those self-same paradises.”
Kebby Jones of Bath, England wrote, “So this poor girl has to wait 3 years before her cruel punishment is melted out. Hows that counted in terms of psychological punishment. No understanding here at all.”
What is your take on the case? Leave you comments below.
Here’s the background on the case:
Maldives is a strict Islamic country. Police there say they had been investigating allegations the girl had been abused by her stepfather for years when they uncovered new evidence of an even more serious crime.
The girl and her stepfather were first arrested after the body of her newborn baby was found buried outside her house in June 2012.
The stepfather is facing 25 years in prison for killing the baby, the baby that he fathered. He has been charged with murder and sexual abuse of a child.
The girl later admitted to police that she had consensual sex with another man. It is unknown if that other man will also face charges.
The girl will be kept under house arrest until she turns 18, then she will receive the flogging.
The Maldivian government is facing criticism over the 100 lashes sentence. Amnesty International and others have noted that the girl had been “traumatized” by the rape of her stepfather.
An Amnesty International spokesman said: ‘Victims of rape or other forms of sexual abuse should be given counseling 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.”
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