Colombo: The Maldives High Court has overturned a juvenile court verdict sentencing a 15-year-old rape victim to 100 lashes after she was charged with fornication.
The case of the teenage girl, who was previously found to have been a victim of sexual abuse, has garnered global media attention and condemnation from human rights groups, Xinhua reported citing Minivan news.
At the same time, an online petition calling for her sentence to be revoked was signed by over two million people.
The high court decided to revoke the minor`s sentence after she denied confessing to having consensual sex with an unknown partner during the juvenile court trial.
It was further noted by the court that there were discrepancies in the statement given by the girl to the juvenile court.
The high court concluded that the minor, found to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, was also unable to correctly define pre-marital sex according to the law.
Authorities previously said the minor had confessed to having consensual sex during a separate investigation into her sexual abuse.
According to Islamic scholars, a confession of fornication can be retracted before the resulting sentence is carried out in full, the high court statement said.