Amnesty International hails quashing of flogging for abuse victim

Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

MALE, Maldives, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A Maldives court quashed a flogging of a teenage girl convicted of fornication, Amnesty International said.

The girl said she had been raped repeatedly by her stepfather.

"Annulling this sentence was of course the right thing to do. We are relieved that the girl will be spared this inhumane 'punishment' based on an outrageous conviction, which we hope has also been quashed," Amnesty International said Wednesday in a release.

The girl had been sentenced to receive 100 lashes and was placed under house arrest for having extramarital sex.

"No one should ever be prosecuted for sex outside marriage in the first place," Amnesty International said. "And victims of sexual abuse need counseling, not punishment. The government must make sure that she has continuing access to appropriate support services."

"Flogging violates the most basic standards prohibiting torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The Maldives authorities must comply with their international law obligations," Amnesty International said. "This means urgently establishing a moratorium on flogging, annulling all outstanding flogging sentences, and making sure that the penal code does not permit prosecution or punishment for 'fornication.'"

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