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Police investigate two rape cases of minors

Ahmed Aiham
01 July 2020, MVT 10:17
Protestors gather on the streets of Male' City, against all forms of sexual violence and to hold perpetrators and the authorities accountable, on June 29, 2020. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
01 July 2020, MVT 10:17

Maldives Police Service on Tuesday announced ongoing investigations into two seperate cases of statutory rape, both minors over the age of 10, who were found to have been impregnated as a result of the crimes.

As revealed by the police, both cases occurred within the jurisdiction of the Central Police Division. While one case was reported by the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services, the other was reported by the health centre on an undisclosed island.

According to authorities, the cases are being investigated by the institution's 'Crime Against Children' department, in collaboration with the Gender Ministry.

In order to protect the identity of the minors, authorities have not revealed the island and atoll in which the crimes had occurred. Further details into the crime, including perpetrators and age, were not disclosed either.

Public ire continues to soar over the government's meagre record of arresting and convicting perpetrators of sexual offences despite several promises to support the rights of children and women.

On June 29, a protest was held amidst public outrage over the sexual assault of a foreign woman aboard a safari last weekend. Police arrested two suspects from the scene of crime but released them shortly after, leading to controversy and allegations that authorities are "politically influenced" by those in power.

Prior to this, two cases of child sexual abuse were reported to the authorities on May 27 and July 10, as well as a number of similar cases earlier this year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, a collective of gender equality advocates originating from Family Legal Clinic (FLC), Nufoshey and Uthema Maldives also launched the #FundOurSafety initiative, voicing demands to declare rape and sexual offences as serious criminal offences and reallocate state funds for the protection of victims.

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