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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Maldives... the sunny side of life?

Photographs from MaldivesImage via WikipediaSource: Rainbow Maldives

A deft slogan no doubt for a website promoting tourism to the Maldives, but not everyone will have the priviledge to see the sunny side of it, especially those seven locals who got arrested in December of 2009 for suspected homosexuality activity. In Maldives homosexuality is a crime and apparently the sun doesn't shine favourably on everyone.

The following is taken from the ILGA report of 2009 regarding countries where being gay is a crime persecuted by law:

'The Penal Code of Maldives does not regulate sexual conduct. It is instead regulated by uncodified Muslim Sharia law, which criminalises homosexual acts between both men and between women. For men the punishment is banishment for nine months to one year or a whipping of 10 to 30 strokes, while the punishment for women is house arrest for nine months to one year. There have been reports of women being sentenced to a whipping as well for lesbian acts.'
I should add the Maldives was also one of the 57 UN countries which not only opposed a statement for the decriminalization of homosexuality presented to the UN General Assembly on 18 Dec 2008 on the intitiative of France, but signed an opposing statement (backed mainly by Muslim countries), which saw the issue as mainly an internal affair and the legitimization of homosexuality as leading to deplorable acts such as paedophilia (the old rotten chestnut).
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