The Edition


Police raid former minister Waheed's residence over sexual misconduct allegations

Ahmed Aiham
11 July 2020, MVT 20:31
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih sacked Ali Waheed from his post as Minister of Tourism on Thursday, marking the first minister to be terminated over allegations of sexual assault in Maldives' history. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
11 July 2020, MVT 20:31

Maldives Police Service on Saturday, began searching the residence of dismissed minister of tourism Ali Waheed, under a court order, for the investigation of sexual misconduct within the tourism ministry.

Although neither the President's Office nor the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services, have confirmed the exact nature of the tourism ministry staff's complaints, local media reports that Waheed was terminated in connection with the alleged sexual assault and harassment.

According to Chief Communications Strategist at the President's Office, Ibrahim Hood, President Solih had ordered Waheed to resign over allegations which were reported by ministry staff to the president and the gender ministry.

His sacking marks the first minister to be terminated over allegations of sexual assault in Maldives' history.

Authorities have yet to disclose additional information regarding the ongoing investigation.

The Senior Policy Director at the ministry, and close associate of Waheed, Mohamed Hassaan, was also dismissed soon after Waheed's termination.

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.

Recently, a collective of gender equality advocates originating from Family Legal Clinic (FLC), Nufoshey and Uthema Maldives also launched the #FundOurSafety initiative, voicing a list of demands including the reallocation of state funds toward the protection of victims.

'#JaagaEhNei' movement, which is set to gather on Sunday, July 12 at 1330 hrs, will call on the state to ensure that perpetrators of sexual injustices are convicted to the fullest extent of the law, whilst also demanding the abolishment of selective and tokenist justice against such heinous crimes.