The Edition


Police arrest 37-year-old over impregnating minor

Shahudha Mohamed
02 July 2020, MVT 20:28
People protest against all forms of sexual abuse and sexual violence at a public forum held at the parliament on July 1, 2020. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS/MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
02 July 2020, MVT 20:28

Maldives Police Service, on Thursday afternoon, arrested a Maldivian man suspected of raping and impregnating a minor.

According to the police, the 37-year-old male was taken into custody under a court order.

Police revealed that the crime occurred within the jurisdiction of the Central Police Division, consisting the atolls of Kaafu, Alif Alif, Alif Dhaalu and Vaavu. The case was reported to the police by the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services.

According to authorities, the case is currently under investigation 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.

The arrest comes amidst public outrage over sexual assault and the lack of justice against perpetrators. On June 29, a protest was held over the sexual assault of a foreign woman aboard a safari last weekend, after the police released the two suspects who were arrested from the crime scene. The case has led 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.