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Page added on January 15, 2014

President Yameen vetoes sexual offences bill

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President Abdulla Yameen has returned the sexual offences bill passed by parliament last month for reconsideration.

According to the President’s Office, in a letter to the speaker of parliament, President Yameen provided details of issues noted by the Attorney General after reviewing the legislation (Dhivehi).

“The bill containing some provisions that are contrary to Islamic Shariah and Islamic principles was among the reasons considered for returning the bill,” the President’s Office stated.

Under article 91 of the constitution, within 15 days of receipt the president could either assent to a bill or “return the bill for reconsideration of the bill or of any amendment proposed by the president.”

The sexual offences bill was passed on December 30 with 67 votes in favour out of the 69 MPs in attendance.

Following the passage of the bill, Vice President of the Fiqh Academy Dr Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef condemned the conditional recognition of marital rape as a crime and called on MPs who voted in favour to repent.

“With the exception of forbidden forms of sexual intercourse, such as during menstrual periods and anal intercourse, it is not permissible under any circumstance for a woman to refrain from it when the husband is in need,” Dr Iyaz had said on a local Islamic question and answers website.

While the bill did not categorically criminalise marital rape, it allowed for four exceptions: while a case for dissolution of the marriage is in a court, while the divorce filed by either husband or wife is pending a court, sexual intercourse to intentionally transmit a sexually transmitted disease, and during a mutually agreed separation (without divorce).

Dr Iyaz however contended that a woman must still show “complete obedience to her husband” even if she had filed for divorce.

Moreover, in cases of a revocable divorce, a man can renew the marriage during the waiting period (i’ddah) by having sexual intercourse. The woman’s consent would not be necessary in such cases, he argued.

He added however that the woman would have the right to go to court if the man’s intention of resuming the marriage was abuse.

Dr Iyaz is currently campaigning for the Hulhuhenveiru parliament seat on behalf of the religious conservative Adhaalath Party.

The contentious bill was drafted and submitted in October 2012 by now-Progressive Party of Maldives MP for Kulhudhufushi South, Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed. Nasheed wrote in the draft legislation that it was not intended to replace Shariah, explaining that it did not preclude application of a Shariah penalty for an offence specified in the bill.

The proposed law covers sexual offences ranging from adultery, homosexuality, incest, bestiality and necrophilia.

2007 study by the Ministry of Gender and Family revealed that 58.2 percent of female respondents agreed that they were obliged to have sex with their husbands, whilst 29.3 percent of women believed it was acceptable for a husband to beat his wife for refusing sex.

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12 Comments on "President Yameen vetoes sexual offences bill"

  1. Patriot on Wed, 15th Jan 2014 6:40 PM 

    Savagery. Unbelievable. The men who drafted this law should be castrated.

  2. Mohamed Bin Salaah on Wed, 15th Jan 2014 7:34 PM 

    The most notorious president we have ever seen in human history.

  3. lostcountry on Wed, 15th Jan 2014 8:56 PM 

    This is ridiculous!

    Marital rape… it is still rape!

  4. Captain Maldives on Wed, 15th Jan 2014 11:43 PM 

    Gaumattaka Dheenatakka

    Well Done President Yameen. You have kept your word and you are a man of integrity.

    The two spinless cowards, Waheed and Anni could have learned a thing or two from you.

  5. Anonymous on Thu, 16th Jan 2014 1:35 AM 

    Well can’t argue with stupid now can we. Solution Step 1; Intense kick-ass self defense classes for all women who applied for a divorce and waiting to get it, who fits in this amazing legal grey area where a husband can legally rape their soon to be divorced wife ( How lovely I hear that’s exactly what a woman needs right then) Step 2; make sure this moron doesn’t get elected for any seat anywhere unless it’s a plane/ boat seat to where ever he learnt this baloney from.

  6. moron on Thu, 16th Jan 2014 8:43 AM 

    Why do you need a law, let him veto it. Women should do body building and train on martial art. Just squeeze the balls of those who try to rape them.

  7. not stupid on Thu, 16th Jan 2014 12:18 PM 

    Too many lawyers are making Maldives a stupid place..

    What is really needed is a woman’s empowerment program with a ‘ball crushing kick ass’ self defence module.

    no pun intended.

  8. not stupid on Thu, 16th Jan 2014 12:21 PM 

    … alternatively, state should provide lock safe metal underwear to women.

  9. ASK on Thu, 16th Jan 2014 3:36 PM 

    Let us all just collectively agree to please not let Dr Iyaz get the Hulhuhenveiru parliament seat.

    If Dr. Iyaz wants to live in a society where he does not need consent from a woman before he could engage in a sexual activity with her and could legally rape women, surely he has lost his way in this country.

    What we need for this country is development and progression with a heavy focus on gender equality and gender mainstreaming.


  10. Brady on Fri, 17th Jan 2014 5:18 AM 

    Why is it legal to rape anyone, anywhere?

  11. Not a sheep on Fri, 17th Jan 2014 5:54 AM 

    Yameen is no friend to women. It’s shocking that in 2014 a president would be so ignorant as to promote the rape of women! This is not an act of integrity. With his rejection of Parliament’s nearly unanimous bill he is bringing international scorn to all of Maldives.

    Yameen, influenced by Adhaalth, has already greatly reduced future prospects for economic development in Maldives. No nation that honors human rights will do business with leaders who demand rape rights.

    Sexual intercourse without consent is a violent act. Period. Between warring enemies, rape is used as a weapon to demonstrate power and humiliate their enemies.

    As a woman I find this move humiliating and a direct insult to my being. It makes me sick to my stomach and it makes me fearful of the future.

    Wake up people. Extreme hard-liners like Iyaz and their coalition puppets in government will next be calling for women to be stoned to death for refusing to smile while being raped.

    Mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and aunts must speak with one voice in demanding freedom from any kind of rape. And honorable, compassionate men who understand the difference between right and wrong must support them and reject state-sanctioned violence against women.

    Please, let’s not teach our male children that females are to be used and abused like a sheep or some inanimate object.

  12. Ali Waleed on Fri, 17th Jan 2014 8:47 AM 

    Would Dr Iyaz allow his own mother to be raped by his abusive father, even if she had filed for divorce?

    I am disgusted.

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