Minister of Gender of Family Sidhatha Shareef on Tuesday night stated that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih reduced the 10 year prison sentence of Ibrahim Rasheed (Hoara Ibbe) to just three days for sexual misconduct with a minor, without the consultation of the ministry. The 45-year-old Rasheed was charged for conducting sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old girl that led to him being sentenced for 10 years on January 1, 2013. He has over 5 years remaining on his sentence which ends on August 8, 2023. Rasheed served as an Under Secretary of the President’s Office during President Mohamed Nasheed’s regime.
The current government has faced severe criticisms for the reduction on the jail sentence of Rasheed. The Minister of Gender and Family Sidhatha Shareef told Mihaaru that she is in no position to make any comments regarding the decision of President Solih. Minister Sidhatha, however, stated that the President does not need the approval of the ministry regarding such decisions. Since President Solih has reduced the sentence to three days on Monday, therefore Ibrahim Rasheed is expected to be a free man on Thursday. Ibrahim had since married the young girl following his sentencing and they now have a child. According to Section 130 of the Penal Code, it is a Class 2 felony of sexual assault if the victim is a minor and the defendant is four or more years elder than the victim. The Special Provisions Act to deal with child sex abuse offenders states it shall be deemed that a child between the age of 13 and 18 years of age did not give consent to carry out sexual acts, and that the sexual act was carried out without the child's consent unless established otherwise. Many people have signed a petition against the release of Rasheed.