Maldives Police Service on Saturday evening revealed that a number of sexual abuse incidents were reported by those who sought spiritual practices such as black magic (Sihr) and exorcism (Rugyah).
Speaking at the third meeting of the Parliament's Human Rights and Gender Committee, Chief Superintendent of Police (SP) Mohamed Daud pronounced that a bulk of sexual abuse cases are reported during such practices, specifically enactments of 'black magic', and added that certain matters were brought to public attention.
The statement was made in response to a question posed by Makunudhoo MP Mohamed Raai, probing the police over rumours of sexual abuse committed by those who practice such activities.
"It [sexual abuse] is inflicted not just in the name of Ruqya, but often under the guise of black magic", said SP Daud. "We have investigated such [sexual abuse] cases that brought forward to the police, and forwarded to PG for prosecution".
"We have brought these concerns to the attention of the public. However, people have not heeded our warning, and continue to seek these paths".
The committee meeting was scheduled to discuss the alleged sexual abuse of a toddler which surfaced on January 16.
Police on Saturday disclosed that three men were arrested in connection to the crime. Two of the three men, the victim’s 62-year old grandfather and 81-year old great-grandfather, face sexual abuse charges against the two-year-old, while the victim’s father, 33, is accused of negligence.