Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Maldives, the UN, Sharia law and Child Abuse

From the Dhivestan Report:
And now more misunderstanding from the court?
(Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez h/t to LabsandMead.)

"Even after 800 years of Islam, the Gaazee's in the courts may have "misunderstood" our dear Prophet Mohammed's (PBUH) views regarding sex between men and children. Something has even made them ignore international commitments and common sense. Now why would these Gaazee's educated in Islam go and do such a thing?

No. There's no misunderstanding. If you live in the Maldives it's just another case of Sharia sponsored, UN sanctioned child rape. Read it all and tell me how a brutal attack on a twelve year old girl by four men wielding axes can be anything else.

The twelve-year-old was attacked on January 31 2007 when the group of four men, aged between 19 and 25, used an axe to smash the window of the her bedroom before taking her from her bed and having sex with her.

The gang of four men cleared previously of raping a twelve-year old girl were sentenced to two years' banishment for "forceful sexual assault" in a high court appeal case today. But in defiance of previous government pledges, the court has not imposed any prison sentence.

The state had appealed following a ruling last July that the men were guilty of "consensual sex before marriage", claiming the girl had agreed to have sex because she didn't "scream out" after the men broke into her house. The men were then sentenced to eight months' exile from their home island, Lhaviyani atoll Kurendhoo, the minimum possible for sex outside marriage.

The High Court has now overruled the previous verdict, stating that sex was not necessarily consensual, and has increased the punishment. But the victim's father said he is concerned the men will be free to reoffend - echoing previous comments by local women's and children's organisations.

The four men were sentenced to a total of two years' banishment and fifteen lashings each. But the gang have already served part of their banishment sentence so face only eighteen months more in exile.

However the ruling directly contradicts a government commitment to the UN that child sex offenders would be imprisoned rather than banished. The government had also pledged to change the law, which allows sex offenders to live and work among children on any island outside their own atoll.

It's important to note:

"Under Maldivian law Sexual offences such as rape and child abuse require a confession by the alleged perpetrator, or testimony by two witnesses in order for a successful conviction to take place."

About that government commitment to the UN:

In May Deputy Home Minister Azima Shukoor promised a UN conference in Geneva, child sex offenders would be imprisoned rather than banished.

Today Justice Minister Mohamed Jameel confirmed, "there is a judicial practice to sentence such offenders to imprisonment.” He said he would look into why the judge had “departed from the prevailing practice.”

But Aminath Eenas of the Gender Ministry says the Justice Ministry has ignored demands to impose prison sentences, and hear abuse victims' evidence in private not open courts.

Velezine says Azima Shukoor deceived the UN conference. “The minister completely distorted the truth. The law clearly still permits banishment for child sexual offences, and the judiciary does not consider this a serious crime. The sentences send completely the wrong message. It tells men of all ages they can get away with rape, and it tells young women not to come forward as they will be re-victimised by the judicial system,” Velezinee added. And she called on the Gender Ministry to “condemn the decision in the strongest possible terms,” and “make sure this goes all the way to the high court.”

The Gender Minister, Aishath Didi, has refused to condemn the judgement. She told Minivan News the government "must respect the judge's decision," although she promised, "everything necessary is being done," for the appeal. Azima Shukoor has refused to discuss her statement to the UN in May, telling Minivan News "I am too busy to discuss this right now.”

Back in 2007 the UN welcomed the Maldivian AG's appeal of the case. Listen to this gobbledy-gook UN speak. I'm telling you, the roundtable discussions between the Maldivian Govt and the UN Country Team must be one big circle jerk.

Whereas the UN Country Team is of the opinion that an appropriate constitutional / institutional framework can ensure the meaningful implementation of the ongoing legal reform, it also recognizes that political leadership and determination will go a long way in removing obstacles to the elimination of all sorts of violence against women and girls in the Maldives.

Do they honestly think that Sharia law provides an appropriate constitutional / institutional framework for ongoing legal reform? They're hallucinating!

Check their Milennium Development Goals for the Maldives to see how out of touch they are. I think somebody needs to light a fire under the arse of the Maldivian UN Country team about the Maldives government's failure to live up to their committment to the UN.

You'd think with their shaky record when it comes to UN troops sexually abusing children they'd be paying a little bit more attention to this, no?

Well, let them know we're paying attention! The team is led by Mr. Patrice Coeur-Bizot. The UNICEF representative on the team is Mr. Ken Maskall. Please make sure you name and shame them in your correspondence to this address:

And if you're looking for other examples of misunderstanding the perverse Prophet's (Panties Be Upon Him) views to present them with...

There's this about the Imam of Goidhoo and the 5 girls aged 11-19.

Or this about the sex video made with a 9 yo girl. Evidently not her first.

(And for an excellent summary you might want to cite this article, Paradise for Pedophiles. UN staffers are quite busy you know - what with all those roundtable discussions and cocktail soirees. Feh.)