Women’s rights NGO slams court’s US$13 fine for domestic violence

Local women’s rights NGO Hope for Women has said that a MVR200 (US$13) fine imposed on a man found guilty of assaulting his wife defeats the purpose of the prosecution.

Luthfee Umar from Laamu Isdhoo was found guilty on May 17 for physically assaulting his wife and shoving her onto the deck of a fishing boat in January.

The NGO said the victim, Hawwa Ibrahim, from Matharesmaage in Faafu Nilandhoo, did not want to press charges against her husband.

The NGO praised the police for investigating the case and the prosecutor general’s office for filing charges at the criminal court.

“However, sadly, the outcome has defeated the purpose of the prosecution. And society has been given a message completely contrary to that purpose. Therefore, we believe that the people who carry out such acts will receive further encouragement,” Hope for Women said in a statement yesterday.

While it does not encourage meting out severe punishments for first time offenders, the NGO said judges must take the nature of the crime, its repercussions, and familial obligations of the accused into consideration.

“Moreover, we believe that the responsibility of the prosecutor is working with the aim of achieving a just outcome instead of just raising charges,” it added.