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PGO breaches child victim's privacy during live broadcast

Mariyam Malsa
16 October 2020, MVT 10:36
Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
16 October 2020, MVT 10:36

The Prosecutor General's Office, on Thursday, breached the privacy of an underage victim of sexual abuse during a session of Parliament's Committee on Human Rights and Gender.

The victim's name, current whereabouts and details from the investigative process were disclosed by a public prosecutor during the meeting, which was streamed live on the parliamentary committee's Youtube channel. The video was removed later on Thursday.

Following the incident, Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem issued a public apology for the incident via Twitter.

Non-profit organisation Voice of Children (VOC), condemned the breach of confidentiality in a sensitive case involving an underage child, describing the incident as "highly unethical and a serious breach of the law by failing to protect the basic rights of the survivors".

The advocacy group called on relevant authorities to launch an investigation over the matter and take necessary steps.

Article 59 (a) of the Sexual Offences Act, prohibits the disclosure of any information that may reveal the victim's identity in publishing reports on investigation and trials relating to sexual offences.

Furthermore, Article 59 (b) states that the Minister of Gender possesses the authority to lodge cases concerning breaches of confidentiality at court and that the person responsible can be charged a fine of between MVR 10,000 and 15,000.

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.

Meanwhile, the police have urged to 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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