Mother of deceased premature baby receives 100 lashes for fornication

Aminath Shaira, age 30 of Finolhu/Noonu atoll Manadhoo, was publicly lashed 100 times outside the Justice Building for committing fornication. Lashing is the standard punishment for intercourse outside of marriage under Maldivian law.

Shaira was sentenced to one years’ imprisonment after she was identified as the mother of a premature baby that was found on 19 May in a Coast Milk tin in the bushes near the Vilimale’ powerhouse.

Forensic experts at the time claimed the baby was dead upon birth, and had been aborted after a five-month pregnancy.

Shaira was also sentenced to 100 lashes and one year’s house arrest for fornication, the Criminal Court confirmed today. Officials said she would be transferred to a prison in the next few days.

Shaira had been charged with disobedience to an order under article 88(a) of the 1968 penal code as well as violations under the Child Protection Act.

Fingerprints belonging to Mariyam Rizna, 18, of Guraidhoo in Kaafu Atoll, had been found on the Coast Milk tin at the time. Rizna was sentenced to six months in prison for helping Shaira deliver the baby.

A third suspect, Aishath Aniya, 24, of Huraa in Kaafu Atoll, was released after the court determined that there was not enough evidence to prove that she had provided abortion pills to the defendant.

Police were unable to identify the baby’s father at the time, and Shaira did not reveal his name.

Abortion is illegal in the Maldives except to save a mother’s life, or if a child suffers from a congenital defect such as thalassemia. Anecdotal evidence, however, points overwhelmingly to a high rate of abortion and unwanted pregnancy.

Around the same time as Sharia’s arrest, a dead infant was found in a plastic bag in Male’s swimming track area. A medical examination later concluded that the baby had sustained cuts, bruises and other wounds, an indication of possible abortion practices.

In November 2010, an abandoned newborn was discovered alive in bushes near the Wataniya telecommunications tower in Hulhumale’.

In January 2010, Minivan News reported that many women unable to travel to Sri Lanka resort to illegal abortions performed by unskilled individuals in unhygienic settings.

Deputy Minister of Health and Family Fathimath Afiya told Minivan News that a meeting was held today to discuss reproductive services in the Maldives. While Maldivian and Shariah law criminalise abortion and intercourse outside of wedlock, Afiya said communication between relevant services and the judiciary made it difficult to fully address each case.

“There needs to be an appropriate legal framework for reporting these cases to the services that could help unmarried and teenage women in compromised positions,” said Afiya. “We are very concerned about the rising number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions by married and unmarried women. Today, we began formulating an action plan for short- and long-term improvements.”

The action plan, which will be finalised during a half-day workshop in November, aims to create awareness of the challenges that pregnant married or unmarried women face, and the comparative lack of appropriate services, among citizens and legislators.

“The situation is very serious, I was surprised at the work that needed to be done to improve the situation,” Afiya said.

Sexual education is not administered per se in the Maldives, and the only official study of reproductive health was done in 2004. Other unofficial studies have noted that very little information is available on the subject.

According to Afiya, up to three cases of abortion are reported by Indira Ghandi Memorial Hospital’s (IGMH) family protection unit–a scant slice of the real picture. Most abortions go unreported or are only brought to medical professionals when an unsafe abortion has damaged the mother.

The stigma of having a child out of wedlock appears to drive women to grave action. Some use abortion-inducing pills or receive injections from amateur abortionists; others turn to harmful vaginal preparations, containing chemicals such as bleach or kerosene. Although infrequent, some women insert objects into their uterus or induce abdominal trauma.

Afiya said the situation is not limited to abortions – an increasing number of women abandon their babies at the hospital after birth.

“Some will just leave after giving birth. It does happen somewhat regularly,” she said.

In 2009, a young woman convicted of having extra-marital sex was also flogged. Amnesty International called for a moratorium on the “inhumane and degrading” punishment in the Maldives.

Although flogging is still a legal form of punishment in many Muslim countries worldwide, Amnesty officials claim that it specifically discriminates against women. Of the 184 people sentenced to lashing in 2006, 146 were female.


41 thoughts on “Mother of deceased premature baby receives 100 lashes for fornication”

  1. The lashing scene might have been difficult for the foreign MN journalists to see, but its good that she has been lashed. Next time she would think itwice before opening her legs for a man and give birth out of wedlock. She also deserved it for what she has done do a small dead baby, abondoning it inside a milk can on the beach. Justice done for the dirty act she has done. I feel no sympathy for such people in our society and there are many more in our society who deserve such treatment.

  2. @Ziyan, how much blinded are you? Who cares about it is the foreign or the local journalists would see that. Do you ever realise that it takes two to have legal or illegal sex. It is unfair to punish the one side and completely forget about the other when scientific evidence taking is possible through DNA.When justice becomes fair you can make such foolish judgments.

  3. we will be watching for any anti-islam comments you publish for this story. we will take action if you publish any. so, be warned.

  4. Ziyan,

    The problem is this: I do not believe this woman is hermaphrodite or gives birth to offspring with no male intervention.

    And yet, I do not see any man getting lashed in this case. Nor do I see any men's pictures staring out of mugshots.

    Statistics easily show that lashing and other punishments in Muslim societies are applied unevenly between genders.

    I cited in an older article of mine the harrowing government statistic (since then taken offline) that out of 184 people sentenced to lashing for 'fornication', 146 were women.

    Any kind of 'justice' that so visibly discriminates against women - or at least fails to effectively hold up against men (depending on how you look at it) - is a farce.

    As you said, in this case the 'woman' might be forced to think twice before 'opening her legs' to use your crude words, but in your ideal system, the man gets to strut around freely doing the same.

    I'm sure that sounds like Justice to you. Some of us couldn't disagree more.

    Also on that note, I notice that women think twice about doing a lot of thigns where this kind of archaic, outdated law is applied. Driving. Walking outdoors. Getting an education. Buying cucumbers?

    Justice, yeah right.

  5. Hasn't this woman suffered enough already without this barbaric punishment?

    As if the judges who hand down these sentences haven't had extra marital affairs like the rest of the country, and raped a few children for good measure

  6. That is an admirable punishment! Shameless women will now think twice about befouling the moral fabric of our nation with their lasciviousness and acts of fornication.

    And nosy foreign jouranalist who disagree with our methods should simply be garroted on the spot. Our country. Our laws.

  7. Somebody said this woman suffered? Really? What about the little baby she sent to be "cleared"? Shameless ifureethu of a person.
    I am glad this person got lashing in public. But this is not enough! This murderer does not need to live.

  8. If it was not due to social stigma, she would have not killed her baby. If the society does not regard a baby born out of wedlock is less human, she would not have killed her baby. If the society judges equally the male and female partner and makes father accountable and adopts the child a legal child who would bear the name of so called male partner who is equally responsible for the action, the mother would not kill her baby. Lashing only this woman for a sin committed by two individuals is justice for some savages; it will never be a justice for us who believe equal rights, freedom and human dignity. I do not know why women out there are happy with such a system and accept this indignity and unjust they face in this savage society. These savages think the women’s vulnerability is the curse for them and therefore it is good to punish those who are more vulnerable. But these crazy people don’t know that from today’s advance science those men who are equally responsible to reproduce can be brought to justice even if they want evade such a justice.

  9. I happen to know this human being, a dozen year or so ago. Daughter of a respected man in the island (school teacher i guess) at Noonu atoll school.
    Was a good girl.

    What has happened to her is very unfortunate and mind you ppl like Ziyan, it could very well be your sister or daughter. Shaira must have gone through difficult times in her life and made mistakes. No one except her knows what she went through, whether she was raped or she had consenting sex is a different question. What ever the reason for the baby, its already been tough for her. in her confused and utter hopeless mind she probably had no other choice but to abort the baby. Its very wrong that a live baby is killed, but isnt it because we do not have edaquate support systems built for victims (she probably is) like Shaira to cope with mistakes they make in life? i think there is a role of public and society that has to playout in order to minimise these kind of unfortunate appalling situations.

    My sympathy wholeheartedly goes to Shaira and the baby died. They are both victims and i think by flogging her and imprisoning her, we are only making her chances to come back to society as a good human being less.

    NO one is born bad, its what conditions and environment that makes ppl do horrible things.

    I hope for a day of better justice and a more compassionate and open way of seeing problems and actually taking steps to actually solve those problems.

    Take care Shaira.

  10. Do you realize how common abortion and sex outside wedlock is. Often the affluent and people who have access to services and opportunities get the abortions done in hoispitals abroad. It is the vulnerable and the not so fortunate women who are caught in the system and gets punnished and ostracised by society. Wake up people

  11. To the Health Ministry of Maldives:
    Please start abortion services in Maldives. Getting a legal and safe abortion is part and parcel of reproductive health rights that should be afforded to all women.

  12. Dear Dhivahi Hanguraama and Ziyan

    What if this happened to you, your sister or your daughter. Would you be as judgmental then? Think about it.

  13. Is 100 lashes enough for this woman who deliberately killed her own child ? Whatever the circumstances may have been, it does not justify (and never will be justified) for someone to kill another person. She should have been tried for murder. Not for fornication.

    Where is the rights of the child to live ?

    By advocating for the rights of this woman, are we sending a message of encouragement to all those other parents (men and women included), that killing their children is acceptable when they feel like it ?

    It is not the issue of whether a man or woman was involved in the creation of the baby. If she could not have taken care of the baby she could have handed the baby over to the authorities. But killing the child is simply murder. Cold and simple. Any attempts by anyone to side with her or justify her killing of her child means that you agree to the right that parents have the rights to kill their children.

  14. @MDL: When you try to act tough on the internet, no one is impressed. If islam is the perfect religion, it won't need internet tough guys like you to enforce and protect it.

    With that out of the way; I believe these flogging punishments are exactly why women who have sex out of wedlock or are raped seek to have unhygenic, unsafe abortions done. And when 'legal abortions' are monitored so biasedly, this is the only result. Because in Maldives, appearances and labels are all that's important.

    Because, seriously, out there, in the free world, couples who aren't married actually live together without the annoyances of a backbiting society ostracizing them over something as ridiculous as 'illegal sexual intercourse'.

  15. Maldivians can be barbarians. In this case they are. Flog the woman and let off the man. Hey Islam,is your God a man?

  16. @Nadeem

    Yes. Don't hold convictions if you aren't willing to enforce its consequences on even your loved ones. I would be among the first to demand their immediate garroting, even if I loved them so.

    @Ahmed Aliased

    As if legalizing consensual sex would do anything more than INCREASING the rate of unwanted pregnancies and consequently, abortions. Examples of this abound in the idealized, sanitized "free world" that you naively speak of.

    At the rate America/Sweden/France is going; what with their legalizing of same sex marriage, within the next twenty years women will be "aborting" premature infants that are a hybrid species; part goat, part human.

    In the twenty years after that, when even Bestiality won't be frowned upon, they will demand the right to enter into marriage contracts and raise the unfortunate resulting offspring with their pet Cats/Dogs/Toads/Goats.

    There is no need to emulate these centres of decadence.

  17. Maldivains are Barbarians. This is clear proof.

    If Ms. Aminath Shaira is rich she would have an abortion in Sri Lanka and no one would breathe a word.


    Maldivains are devoid of morality and this is a good example. The impact of the law if different if you are poor

    So how can a country function with such a barbarious and double standardized legal system. If Maldives does not sink, its time that the world sinks it.

  18. To all the fools who are trying to say this is unjustified or barbaric... lol! so there is the other side. wonder why this "woman" can't even say who the heck knocked her up? was this drug abused gang bang?! keke! you fools! justice in shariah is delivered two ways! surely what she did was very cruel, so she tasted a fraction of the torment. But the justice of Allah will surely be the most just! In the day of judgement even if the man is hidding today will bear more shame and punishment than what this "woman" went through today. I bear witness that he will. Now all fools who wanna go sex education, well look at the "success" of ths in the "developed countries". Now children in their 13's are experiencing child birth and sex. what fun that must be for kids. thank for you're brilliant advice guys, we cannot have done it without u. lol.

  19. In Maldives too, there are young people as young as 12, experiencing sexual intercourse, but the sad thing is it is adult men often family or know males coersing or abusing them sexually. When fairness and justice is talked about, think beyond your nose.

  20. the problem with our kaafirs is this; they will even defend the undefendable. How can anyone defend this murderer who killed her child? Sure the so called "Free world" will have no problem with her having sex everywhere, but even they will not try to defend a woman who killed her own baby to cover the track.

  21. Verses 24-2,3 says: "The woman and the man guilty of fornication flog each of them with 100 stripes"

  22. Ah, a people who don't know morality without referring to random verses in a man-made book.

  23. So the issue isn't actually the punishment, is it?
    Is it the gender bias that's making it inhumane and barbaric?

  24. When they can't defend their heroine, they resort to insult our book! Typical kuffar, clutching at straws!

  25. It's funny how so called civilized people are so concerned that men and women are not equal when elsewhere is the world only today the british monarchy is changing rules on equality of a women to a men as heir to throne. It's so easy to point at others even there are same issues in your backyard.

  26. "Lashing is the standard punishment for intercourse outside of marriage under Maldivian law." get your facts right, Eleanor. There is no law in the statute books here that spells out this punishment. It is in the Qur'an. It is an Islamic law.

  27. Ismail on Sat, 29th Oct 2011 5:55 AM, the British will change, as they always did. You barbarians don't know how to change.

  28. Such a sad story, makes me so mad to see people arguing about religion, why cant everyone live to their own beliefs and co exist peacefully, why are Muslims so paranoid about this, also same goes for all the secularists, dont bash islam, show them we are not a threat

  29. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Fri, 28th Oct 2011 12:48 AM wrote "....offspring with their pet Cats/Dogs/Toads/Goats..." It sounds like you are writing from personal experience. Have you been successful at fertilising a goat the last time you inseminated one?

  30. Why shouldn't the father be flogged as well? Can the women get pregnant all by herself? Can't DNA evidence be traced back to the father? No wonder men keep dancing around with their dick. They dont have to face the consequences at all. As long as men and women aren't treated similarly, flogging will continue to be discriminatory. The patriarchal maldivian society will endorse humiliation for women. They are safe, so what do they have to worry about? Democracy and human rights in the maldives is just rubbish talk. Its still a backward, discriminatory society.

  31. I can't believe some of the nonsense i'm reading here.

    yes, no one is born bad & we don't know what made shaira become who she is & it does take two to create a baby...but nothing in my opinion excuses the fact that she killed the baby, an innocent who had not committed any sins & should not be punished to save face of its parents. it would have been better if she had anonymously left the child at the children's least the baby would have lived.

    it is rather unfortunate that the men usually go scot-free of the @Aminath says, i wish DNA testing could be done to determine the father, but i don't think its a realistic option.

    the whole point of flogging & giving the punishment means that he/she will not be punished for that crime on the judgement day. Now Amnesty international etc may find it "inhumane", but they have no right to criticize our religion...

    there are many inhumane practices in other religions as well. eg, a pedophile goes to confession but the priest can't do anything except give him absolution. the pedophile is free to commit more crimes as his previous crimes have been forgiven.

  32. The lashes where to shame, its not painful, in some countries its done in private and thats the painful ones where they would do it while shes laying down nude and a female lasher would lash her back and bottom real hard

    Little tip for Mr Policeman NOT trying to find the father, You just ask the people who know the woman well and her neighbors who the woman have been seen with ? Its called investigating, doing a bit of detective work you know!! Do a DNA test on the likely suspects and Voilà!! You got the coward!!
    Seriously people get the man too!! The woman DID NOT make the baby by herself , the woman it seems did kill the baby herself (with a little help from her female child killer friends)

  34. Wine and Pork Lover, so they only change NOW, what happened to the past? You should include "oil and tourism" to your name, so it reads Wine, Pork, oil and tourism Lover. That sound more appropriate to people like you, you guys did more harm to the world and mankind than anyone can ever do.


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