Indian national Rubeena held for four and a half years without charge

Indian national Rubeena Buruhanudeen has been held in Dhoonidhoo detention centre for four and a half years on charges of murdering her ten-month-old child.

The 30-year-old is also facing charges related to attempted suicide – a criminal offence in the Maldives – but has been awaiting sentencing since late August 2010, explained a source close to the case.

Minivan News has been told that Rubeena confessed to the killing before having received any legal assistance, and has since said she was heavily medicated at the time of her child’s death, with only a vague recollection of events.

“She is very distressed and depressed,” explained the source. “When the prospect of receiving the death penalty was raised with her, she said she would prefer it to her current situation.”

“Four years waiting for a trial is unacceptable,” they continued, noting that the case had been passed to the Human Rights Commission of Maldives.

Rubeena’s legal team has requested a new hearing before sentencing in order to make the case for diminished responsibility.

Her case has been raised in the Indian media this week, with the New Indian Express reporting that the issue had been brought to the attention of Kerala’s Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Last month Chandy pledged to offer assistance in the case of Indian teacher K.K. Jayachandran who was imprisoned for 8 months on child abuse charges before being released on December 25.


Minivan News’ source confirmed details published in the Indian media, explaining that Rubeena was married to Hassan Jabir, from Thaa Kinbidhoo – 16 years her senior – in 2008.

The case has also sparked debate in India over the practice of poor girls from Kerala being sold off to foreign nationals in return for money, with Rubeena’s mother telling the Express that Jabir had paid off the family’s debts.

After moving to the Maldives with her husband – who is a clerk in the local court, the marriage became troubled, with Rubeena reported to have been living in a disused tea-shop with her child by 2010.

Rubeena has alleged that she was having trouble obtaining money to feed her child when she attempted suicide by consuming a large volume of drugs, later being informed of her child’s death by staff at the island’s health centre.

After being held in Dhoonidhoo detention centre since June 2010, Rubeena was taken to Malé to appear in court in May, 2013, only to discover upon arrival that she was being taken to the Family Court for the conclusion of divorce proceedings.

Her case was brought to the attention of Maldivian NGO Voice of Women after a chance encounter between Rubeena and political activists detained in Dhoonidhoo following unrest surrounding the transfer of presidential power in February 2012.

Her case has since been taken up on a pro bono basis by local law firm Hisaan, Riffath & Co, with Fareesha Abdulla O’Shea now representing Rubeena.


Minivan News’ source has explained that the Criminal Court has heard from neither the husband nor the doctor who examined the child’s body, with a request to see the latter delaying a scheduled hearing last month.

The court is said to have been receptive to requests for an additional hearing in the case, though officials from the court and the Prosecutor General’s Office were unable to provide details at the time of publication.

Kerala minister Chandy is reported to have met with Rubeena’s parents, as well as making assurances that steps will be taken to ensure prospective job-seekers to the Maldives were aware of the legal complications they may face.

“The cases of people getting trapped in fake cases often do not reach the mainstream due to the restrictions on the media and the hindrance before other Indian associations in contacting the victims in prisons,” read the article in the Express.

The paper reported that it was the release of Jayachandran that brought Rubeena’s case to the public’s attention, with the 51-year-old teacher explaining the difficulties he had in accessing support while incarcerated in the Maldives.

“Even the Indian Club officials in the Maldives were not able to contact me, though they tried through different sources,” Jayachandran told the Express.

“The only agency that can contact them is the Indian Embassy. But they are often indifferent to the unfortunate inmates. Once I was even asked, why do you people choose to work in the Maldives,” he said.

Officials from the Indian High Commission have confirmed that they are aware of Rubeena’s case.

Minivan’s source explained that extradition to India would be considered once Rubeena is sentenced.

The Extradition Act was ratified by President Abdulla Yameen yesterday (December 5), with 15 Sri Lankan prisoners being sent home today (December 6)

Related to this story

Kerala minister to look into Indian teacher’s incarceration in Maldives


12 thoughts on “Indian national Rubeena held for four and a half years without charge”

  1. This is what happens when you marry a Maldivian national or go to Maldives to work. You get stuck forever, living in a shack, on some primitive god forsaken atoll in the middle of nowhere. Is there drinking water in Dhoonidhoo, never mind anything else?
    The Indian government should get Rubeena back and look into the odious practice of poor Indian muslims marrying off their daughters to even poorer muslims abroad.

  2. MissIndiaAgarwaltheThug, That is why I have been telling you not to come here to sweat out just because we are more civilized and offer you better wages. Stay out and away from us you hermaphradite. Meanwhile, just for your information, Rubeena came to the Maldives because she felt it was still safer and better than be gang-raped in India.

  3. Rubeena was married in good faith to a Maldivian man and ended up starving and homeless in a foreign land. So much for the high income and standard of living that Maldivians constantly drone on about.
    There must be thousands of Rubeenas from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Saudi, Yemen and Maldives, married to decrepit, old, previously married men with tobacco stained teeth and bad breath. Poor girls.
    This practice for selling off your daughters to foreign muslim men must be stopped in India. The exploitation of poor women is commonplace in Muslim countries but I don't see why we must tolerate this odious practice in India.
    The foreign husbands are mostly from the lower economic class and not well educated.
    Indian immigration authorities should keep a lookout for Hasan Jabir from Tha Kinbidhoo in case he surfaces in India to buy himself another wife.
    The government of Maldives should repatriate Rubeena as soon as possible.

  4. missindia exactly thats what happens.muslim men like to have their seventy virgins even before they reach heaven

  5. Before there was one Chinese man who was kept in prison without a good reason. He was released after many years. But this man decided to live in Maldives even after his release.

  6. oh miss india, in Orisa state people are starving. i have seen people hunting rats and eating mud. Inida will never progress as a modern liberal western style nation. you guys will remain as primitive forever. learn from Maldives. no matter how samall maldives is, maldivians are far batter and civilized than your rats.

  7. miss india, there are no classes in maldives. we are not a cast society. go somewhere to teach your cast system.

  8. The Indian government should start locking up poor, barely literate foreign Muslims who come to India looking for girls from poor families.
    If you are a fat, short, middle aged clerk, fisherman, shop keeper or taxidriver from Saudi Arabia, Yemen or Maldives, look for a wife in your own community. No need to marry an Indian woman and subject her to a life of hardship in your country.
    I can't imagine what hardship poor Rubeena endured in that god forsaken Maldivian atoll, miles from civilisation.
    Why don't you old wrecks look for wives in Pakistan?

  9. @Miss Inida
    What justification is there for her to kill an innocent baby. she killed a baby! she is a killer, murderer and evil person.she must be hanged to make justice prevail under the sky.

  10. to the douchebags who are so vocal about this lady committing a heinous crime. do you have solid proof to show that she is the culprit?? if not then please keep your comments to yourselves until you get these.

    this woman has been kept inside a detention facility for almost 4 years without even obatining a formal hearing session. for heavens sake have some humanity.


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