What is it that you first think of when you hear that (well, in this case, read that)? The sun? Beautiful landscapes? How about white-sand beaches? Do you know what I think of when I now hear the word Maldives?
I think injustice. Ignorance. Dystopia.
Today in the paper (The Metro. Source will be provided at the latter of the post) I read about a young 15 year old girl that was charged for being raped. Yep, you read correctly. She was the victim of rape and she got charged. It’s ludicrous…once you continue reading and find out the reason for such an absurd decision.
Her name remains unknown so let’s call her Gemma – for this posts’ sake. So, Gemma, was sexually abused by her Stepfather then punished to ‘100 lashes’, and eight months of house arrest. Fortunately for her, Amnesty International (a renowned Human Rights movement) got a word of her story and sprang into action, quickly, getting her out of this rather serious dilemma. There are
two three main issues I found to be wrong with this very unexpected news.
1. The Verdict.
Can somebody really be guilty of being the victim to rape? I cetainly think not.
Why on earth would the Judiciary over there, find it necessary to punish this child for a terrible event that couldn’t be helped on her part? Although it could very well be possible that she approached her Stepfather and asked him to do such a thing; I find it very, very, very unlikely. I mean, how many past examples can you think of when the events occured in that way? It is ridiculous that they couldn’t even come to such a simple ‘not guilty’ decision. Ridiculous. It makes it even worse knowing that the Judges probably still have no idea of what they have done wrong.
2. The Punishment.
‘100 lashes’ is what Gemma was sentenced to. How do you feel about that? 100 whips for such an event that she proabably didn’t cause. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Let’s try and look at this via a different scenario: Person A has a fight with Person B, and wins. Person B is badly battered and bruised. Person A is left unharmed, but gets grounded by his parents for one week. However, the same can’t be said for Person B. This person gets shouted at by his parents for getting beaten up, and for not defending himself as well as they’d liked him to have done. Little does Person B’s parents know, he did all that he could to get out of the situation but it just wasn’t enough. Person A was too strong for him; he didn’t have a chance. Regardless of these facts though, he’s grounded by his parents for a month. It’s unfair, isn’t it?
Now try to substitute ‘Person A’ for Gemma’s Stepfather, and ‘Person B’ for Gemma herself. Though the anacdote was of a much less serious scale, the miscarriage of justice still remains.
However, let us just be sincerely grateful that the Amnesty International reached out as soon as they did. They really helped Gemma out on this one. She owes them one.
3. The Belief.
The genuine, and honest – to the Maldevian authorities – reason as to why Gemma was sentenced to such torture was because they do not believe in premarital sex, which is totally understandable for them, as individual’s to believe in such a thing. If that’s what they believe in, then it is what it is, and we cannot change that. But to add to Gemma’s already pretty-unfortunate life (for such a selfish reason) is just unfathomable. Fornication – as they so archaically put it – meant that Gemma had no chance of even trying to change their mind’s; an individual’s ideology cannot be shaken so easily, even in such a tragic situation.
‘Victims of sexual abuse need counselling, not punishing.’ Polly Truscott, from Amnesty International says.
I would say that I’m sympathetic for her mother, being dragged through such hell, but she’s been accused of concealing a crime. It’s all here at: http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/22/teenage-girl-sentenced-to-100-lashes-after-being-raped-by-stepfather-has-punishment-quashed-3934865/