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Criminal Court remands couple accused of sexually abusing minor till trial end

Shahudha Mohamed
14 October 2020, MVT 19:07
"Blame the system, not the victim" read a placard used by a protestor at the march. The incumbent administration came under heavy fire by the public after a string of sexual abuse cases in 2020, many involving minors. Rights groups stages various demonstrations demanding justice for victims and systematic reform. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS / MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
14 October 2020, MVT 19:07

The Criminal Court, on Monday, remanded the couple arrested over allegations of sexually abusing an underage male in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale', till the end of their trail.

The sexual abuse case was first reported to the authorities on October 3, and the suspects were arrested two days later on October 5.

Prior to their arrest, a mob had gathered outside their house calling for their arrest, and police had escorted the two suspects, a 29-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, to the station inside a police vehicle upon request for protective custody.

Local media Mihaaru has since named a local actor and his wife as the alleged perpetrators behind the incident.

The actor and his wife were first remanded for a period of seven days, but the Criminal Court extended the remand further due to the nature of the case.

Mihaaru News later reported that a family member, related to the actor's wife, confirmed that both individuals were arrested around midnight on Sunday night and that the woman was taken to Dhoonidhoo jail while the man remains in Male' prison.

According to Mihaaru, the couple is accused of sexually abusing two underage males related to the actor.

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.

Protesters demanding justice for rape and sexual assault victims held demonstrations during June and July in front of Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services as well as the roads of capital Male', following an upsurge of reported cases and alleged misconduct of police during investigations.

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 reallocate state funds for the protection of victims.

The police have continually urged public report all such cases to the police's Family and Child Protection Wing at +960 3000600 or the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services at 1412.

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