The Edition


President Office's Communications Secretary summoned to police over sexual harassment

Ahmed Aiham
12 July 2020, MVT 16:46
Ahmed Aiham
12 July 2020, MVT 16:46

President Office's Secretary of Communications Hassan Ismail, on Sunday, was summoned to Maldives Police Service over alleged sexual harassment.

The complaint, which was formally lodged at the President's Office by the editor of The Edition, Rae Munavvar, on January 21 and at Maldives Police Service on February 4, gained public traction following social media outrage after Rae noted in a tweet last week that no actions had been taken by the administration till date.

Although the police have yet to reveal the exact nature of the summon, the backlash prompted a response from the Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed, stating that he has instructed to "expedite the investigation".

Following large public support and subsequent response by the Commissioner, Rae iterated that she does not require selective justice or special treatment.

"I ask for no favour and will accept none. The fact is, this issue is much bigger than myself - I want the same justice for all women like me, who have been ill treated and silenced", said Rae in her tweet.

The Secretary of Communications has not commented regarding the matter.

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.

The '#JaagaEhNei' movement also gathered on Sunday in front of Hotel Jen, to call for the conviction of perpetrators of sexual injustices to the fullest extent of the law, whilst also demanding the abolishment of tokenist justice against such heinous crimes.

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.

Several child and women rights groups criticized the incumbent administration's constant assurance that the government has a "zero-tolerance policy" towards sexual abuse, fueled by a string of sex crimes reported recently, followed by controversial arrests and alleged misconduct of police.

Protests, now frequently held, continue to demand police reforms, whilst scrutinising the institution as incapable in their duty to protect citizens from the threat of sexual offenders and other crimes.