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Cablegate: Maldives: Overview of Recent Legislation Passed By

VZCZCXRO1185
PP RUEHBI
DE RUEHLM #1074 3310219
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270219Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0841
INFO RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 2097
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 9125
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 7371
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 5261
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 3523
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 9686
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 6980
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3859
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001074

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PHUM MV
SUBJECT: MALDIVES: OVERVIEW OF RECENT LEGISLATION PASSED BY
MALDIVIAN PARLIAMENT

1. SUMMARY: The Maldivian parliament recently passed the
Child Sexual Abuse Act and an amendment to the penal code that
decriminalizes defamation. President Nasheed has signed the former
into law and is expected shortly to sign the latter. While local
journalists and international press freedom groups have welcomed the
legislation on decriminalization of defamation, local NGOs and
UNICEF have called for a reassessment of an article in the Child
Sexual Abuse Act, which they believe could be used as a loophole by
child sexual offenders. END SUMMARY.
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ACT
----------------------

2. On November 4, the Maldivian parliament passed the Child
Sex Abuse Act, which codifies child sex offenses for the first time
and outlines sentences of up to 25 years for those convicted. Out
of the 60 members in attendance for the vote, 58 voted in favor, two
voted against, and one abstained.

3. The bill identifies varioQlestation$ PerformiNg sexual aCph the preSence of a ,IQautHo2RqQQand Article 19, whi!`have prEQdays.
FOWLER

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