Maldives: Public caning for sex assault

2011-01-19 18:06
Colombo - A Maldivian court has ordered a man to be caned 25 times in public and spend two years in jail for sexually assaulting a female Japanese teacher on the atoll nation, police said on Wednesday.

The sentence was handed down on Tuesday by a criminal court in the capital Male after the man confessed to the offence committed in November, police spokesperson Ahmed Shiyam said.

Crime is rare in the Maldives, an Indian Ocean nation of 330 000 Sunni Muslims. The honeymoon destination has its own form of Islamic Sharia law that prescribes public floggings for those found guilty of sex offences.

"The convict will be publicly caned 25 times at a time to be determined by the court," Shiyam said when contacted by telephone. He said the victim had already left the country. No further details were available.

The privately-run Minivan News website said the authorities prosecuted the man identified as Adam Shareef following a complaint from a witness.

The teacher was attacked at an islet north of Male where she taught music to local children, it said.

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