Human Rights and Gender Committee

Majlis committee to question relevant bodies incl. Kanduhulhudhoo Council

  • The decision was reached with the vote from all four members present at Friday's emergency meeting
  • Three have been arrested in connection to the case
  • Gender Ministry has been drawing heavy public criticism over the case

Zunana Zalif

K. Male' 2020 Jan 18 | Sat 09:47 local 76,197

Parliament's Committee on Human Rights and Gender - RaajjeMV

Parliament's Committee on Human Rights and Gender has decided to question the relevant authorities as well as the council of Kanduhulhudhoo island in Gaaf Alif atoll.

While the case of a two-year-old being raped by her father, grandfather and great grandfather surfaced on Thursday, authorities are to have received the report on 15 January.

The Human Rights and Gender Committee held an emergency meeting on Friday after the case shook the nation, with Chairperson and MP for Hinnavaru constituency, Jeehan Mahmood having stated that it has been a year since the grandfather of the child has been accused of similarly sexually assaulting a five-year-old and the trial has been at a standstill.

While Jeehan has claimed that the child’s family has a record of sexual assault against children and drug abuse, Maldives Police Service (MPS) confirmed that they have criminal records via a statement early Saturday.

The committee reached the decision to summon relevant bodies and the island’s council for questioning, with the votes from all four members present.

Relevant bodies are to be questioned on when they received the sexual assault report and what action was taken to provide protection for the child.

As such, the committee has sought all information collected in the case from the Child Protection Unit, Prosecutor General, Criminal Court, Human Rights Commission of the Maldives, and Kandulhudhoo Council, by 2pm on Saturday.

Summons have been issued to the relevant bodies to present themselves at 9pm on Saturday.

The case of sexual assault against a two-year-old arose from Kanduhulhudhoo island in Gaaf Alif atoll and implicated in the case are the two-year-old’s father, grandfather and great grandfather who were arrested on Friday. The 62-year-old grandfather and 81-year-old great grandfather have been slapped with 15-day remands.

RaajjeMV understands that the child was being assaulted while her mother was in capital city Malé due to health issues.

The disturbing news took social media by storm, with several users calling for the resignation of Gender Minister Shidhatha Shareef. It has been long since authorities have been drawing public criticism, especially the Gender Ministry for inadequate action taken against child sex offenders and to curb the crime. Such cases have been reported frequently of recent and the Gender Ministry claims this is because public awareness is notably increasing regarding the crime.

While protesters poured onto the streets on Friday, protests are to continue into Saturday as well.

Last updated at: 4 days ago | Reviewed by: Aishath Shaany

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