The President will not apologise for Pillay without Parliament: Zuhair

President Mohamed Nasheed will neither condemn nor apologise to the people over the statements made by UN human rights chief Navi Pillay about flogging, Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair has said.

Zuhair explained that the comments were made before Parliament, which has not yet spoken against the comments.

He said the President would respond after “the head of the particular state body cites a valid reason to speak against Pillay’s comments.”

During her visit in November, Pillay told Parliament that flogging as a punishment for extra-marital sex was one of the most degrading punishments for women, and asked that the government issue a moratorium on the Shariah-based penalty.

According to Haveeru, Zuhair said that former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom earlier made statements similar to those of Pillay.

The demand that the President apologise for Pillay’s remarks is one of five demands made the coalition which protested in defense of Islam on Friday, December 23. Since then, the government taken steps to address the demands which include removing SAARC monuments in Addu, preventing Israeli airlines to operate flights into the Maldives, closing down brothels and places where prostitution is practiced, and reversing the decision to declare areas of inhabited islands uninhabited in order to permit the sale of alcohol.