Reprieve for Maldives woman sentenced to death by stoning

Male, Oct 19 (IANS) The Maldives Supreme Court annulled a sentence of death by stoning for a woman found guilty of adultery, the media reported on Monday.

In a court order issued under “supervisory jurisdiction” late Sunday night, the apex court said the verdict was reached “in violation of judicial and legal procedures to be followed in such cases,” Minivan news reported.

The woman was charged with giving birth out of wedlock and had reportedly confessed in court to committing adultery.

The magistrate court verdict marked the first time a person was sentenced to death by stoning in the Maldives and sparked a heated debate and outrage on social media.

The island nation has previously issued flogging sentences to those convicted of extramarital sex.

In 2013, the case of a 15-year-old girl sentenced to 100 lashes after being found guilty of premarital sex prompted global concern. The High Court later overturned the verdict, saying she had been wrongly convicted.

Extramarital sex is illegal in the Maldives, although the ban does not apply to tourists.

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