The Maldives government urged leniency on Tuesday for a teenager who could face public flogging for having pre-marital sex, saying she had been traumatised by earlier repeated rapes by her stepfather.
President Mohamed Waheed’s spokesman Masood Imad said the 15-year-old should be treated as a victim rather than a perpetrator of a crime.
“There is no possibility for the president to directly intervene in a court process, but our hope is that she will be treated as a victim,” Imad said.
The stepfather is accused of repeatedly raping the girl and murdering a child he fathered with her. He could face up to 25 years in prison, Imad said.
While investigating the alleged rapes last year, police also found evidence that she had sex with another man, which is an offence in Maldives.