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Dismissed tourism minister Ali Waheed under travel ban

Fathmath Shaahunaz
12 July 2020, MVT 18:06
Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed. FILE PHOTO/TOURISM MINISTRY
Fathmath Shaahunaz
12 July 2020, MVT 18:06

Former Minister of Tourism, Ali Waheed, was placed under a travel ban Sunday, amid investigations into alleged sexual assault of ministry staff.

Police stated that they withheld Waheed's passport and prohibited him from travelling abroad, in connection with an ongoing case.

The police also raided Waheed's residence under a court order on Saturday, and confiscated his mobile phone and laptop, per media reports.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ordered Waheed's resignation last week following complaints regarding incidents of misconduct within the tourism ministry, which were lodged by the ministry staff at the President's Office and the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services.

Waheed was sacked early Thursday after he failed to tender his resignation as per the order.

Although the police have revealed that they received complaints of sexual assault against female employees of the tourism ministry, neither the President's Office nor the gender ministry has confirmed the nature of the complaints.

However, local media reports that Waheed was terminated in connection with the alleged sexual assault and harassment complaints, which would make him the first Maldives' minister to be terminated on such grounds.

Waheed's response to the situation so far was a tweet saying that "time will tell the truth" and the "truth will always prevail", which he posted soon after the president ordered his resignation.

Waheed is among a number of politicians facing accusations, amid a string of high- and low-profile sexual abuse, sexual assault and harassment cases that recently surfaced.

Several protests have been held, the most recent being the 'JaagaEhNeh' protest held on Sunday afternoon, to demand that perpetrators and authorities be held accountable and justice ensured for victims and survivors.

Meanwhile, 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.

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