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President Solih assembles task force to investigate child "bride" case

Shahudha Mohamed
28 November 2019, MVT 10:15
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratifies the new Bill on Protection of Whistleblowers. PHOTO/PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Shahudha Mohamed
28 November 2019, MVT 10:15

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Tuesday established a special task force to investigate the case where a child "bride" was impregnated by rape under the justification of extremist religious ideologies.

Speaking at the Parliament's National Security Service Committee, Commissioner of Police (CP) Mohamed Hameed revealed that President Solih established the task force at the meeting held in the National Security Council.

According to the Commissioner, the task force is mandated with carrying out investigations into the measures taken by relevant authorities for the safety of the girl involved in the case, who was impregnated at the age of 12, and gave birth after she turned 13.

"An investigative team of Police was chosen under the task force initiated by the president in the National Security Council to attend overall concerns in the region".

As per previous statements from Police, Intelligence first received reports of the family stripping away the rights of children, including their right to education, in June 2018.

CP Hameed said that the task force will also take necessary measures following the investigations into the case, adding that the operations commenced at 2100 hrs on November 26.

The Parliament's Gender and Human Rights Committee also gathered information pertaining to the case and is probing the matter of abuse and unethical behaviour against the child.

Moreover, the Parliament issued an official announcement on Monday for public information on child marriages, unapproved by a court.

The Committee affirmed that investigations are underway, noting that the number of child marriages are on the rise in Maldives.

Therefore, the Committee urged any individuals to submit any relevant information to the Parliament via a written document or emailing it to hrg_committee@majilis.gov.mv

The Parliament administration requests information to be shared by December 8, 2019.

Marrying off children amongst individuals with extremist ideologies resurfaced when a group of extremists belonging to Maduvvari, Raa Atoll, was involved in an assault abroad a fishing vessel.

The man injured in the dispute, who is the alleged 'husband' of the impregnated child, is currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

One suspect was attested in the assault case and remanded for a period of 10 days.

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