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Top court overturns verdict to stone woman over fornication

07 January 2019, MVT 14:06
Supreme Court of Maldives. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
07 January 2019, MVT 14:06

The Supreme Court, on Monday, overturned a verdict to sentence a young woman to death by stoning.

The Magistrate Court of Naifaru, Lhaviyani Atoll, on Sunday, charged the woman with capital punishment over fornication, in reference to Clause 27 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014), which states that sexual intercourse outside of marriage is illegal.

However, the magistrate court's sentencing took place in violation of the Act.

Additionally, Clause 27 states that the perpetrator, if found guilty, will receive a hundred lashes and an additional one to three years of house arrest as punishment.

Judge Mohamed Moosa sanctioned the death penalty over her confession to fornication.

Islamic Sharia states that death by stoning can be sanctioned if the individual is married and engages in extramarital sexual intercourse.

According to local media Mihaaru, the woman is a divorcee.

Stoning, or 'rajm' in Arabic, is not commonly executed, owing to strict evidential requirements stipulated by Islamic law.

In most cases where stonings were conducted in recent years, the activity took place areas influenced by religious extremism.

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