Maldivian asylum seekers assured of prosecution upon return, says President’s Office

Maldivians seeking asylum abroad on grounds of religion or sexuality can be assured of prosecution should they return, says the President’s Office.

“The threat from the state they speak of is in actuality our law and regulations. That will not change,” President’s Office Spokesman Ibrahim Muaz explained.

Muaz’s comments come in response to a story in the New Zealand media that a homosexual Maldivian asylum seeker has become an prize-winning drag queen in Wellington.

Abraham Naim told the Dominion Post that he had been granted asylum in 2013 after facing persecution in the Maldives.

The article quotes New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment as stating that Naim was “at risk of serious harm from state agents” and that “there is a real chance of persecution if he returned to the Maldives”.

Naim also told the news website that he has been prey to numerous online threats and hate mail. “My entire existence is controversial,” he said.

Asked to comment on the matter today, Mushrif Musaid (Supervisor) at Ministry of Islamic Affairs Jannath Saeed stated that acts of homosexuality are clearly anti-Islamic and against the country’s laws, and thereby subject to legal action.

“Such acts of homosexuality are haraam in Islam. However, this ministry has not so far received any complaints from anyone claiming to be a persecuted homosexual,” said Jannath.

“We will need to check if the ministry has issued any threats or statements against a homosexual. The fact remains that such an act is without doubt against Islam,” he commented.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Media Official Zaaid Ahmed stated that he would comment on the matter on a future date after consulting with the relevant officials in the ministry.

Speaking on the issue of Maldivian asylum seekers last month, President Abdulla Yameen referred to the act of leaving the Maldives as “treason”, though he suggested those who returned would be welcomed.

“If they want to leave the shelter of Maldives, we say, you are welcome, go somewhere else. But if they want to come back to the Maldives, we will again say, welcome back to the Maldives,” said the president.

“Too much to lose”

Spokesman Muaz told Minivan News today that instances of Maldivian youth committing criminal acts under the protection of foreign states had been seen before.

“No one can get away with committing such acts for as long as they are using a Maldivian identity card or passport,” he added.

In his interview with the Dominion Post, Naim – who performs under the name Medulla Oblongata – explained that he had been disowned by his father.

“I’m definitely in a better place now,” he told the paper.

Speaking with other Maldivians currently living abroad for reasons related to their sexuality, Minivan News was told that most preferred to refrain from publicly revealing their sexuality as there was “too much to lose”.

Some said it would be difficult to get employment, while others spoke of being ostracised from society, fearing the repercussion their families might face.

“I prefer to stay quiet about it in my country of origin and instead live elsewhere where I can live comfortably with my sexuality. I’d lose everything from my family connections to friends if I come out,” said 23-year-old Ahmed Matheen*.

Moosa Farih* suggested that the situation for gay Maldivians had deteriorated in recent times.

“Until now, Maldivian LGBT have been largely left alone, but I feel that the focus has gradually been shifting onto us lately, and this is because there is increasing number of people who are trying hard to create the platform for our voices to be heard.”

“I am glad that Naim is out there spearheading this change. In Islam, there is no compulsion in religion, but that is never practiced. If the government and the people of Maldives wanted LGBT to be out of their system, asylum seekers shouldn’t be threatened with extradition and prosecution,” said Farih.

One 28-year-old Maldivian man, still living in n the capital Malé said that only a few “trusted persons” were aware of his sexuality.

“I could easily seek asylum elsewhere, but the point is, my life does not revolve around my sexuality,” he said.

“Yes, I am homosexual. But that is just an unavoidable fact like the colour of my eyes or my skin tone.

I’d rather keep it secret and live here and achieve my dreams of working to make this country a better, more progressive place,” he said, on account of anonymity.

*Names changed on request


25 thoughts on “Maldivian asylum seekers assured of prosecution upon return, says President’s Office”

  1. This not ok, but dressing up as a drag queen at hithaana season is ok.

    This is not ok, but the judge exposed for adultery still sitting as a judge is ok.

    This is not ok, but the Maldivian blowing himself up and killing innocent people in Syria is ok.

    Priorities, this country needs to sort them out.

  2. I personally feel that more maldivians should stand up to the discrimination. it is understandable how one could feel uncomfortable with being gay, but i doubt it is ok to judge someones elses lifestyle just because you are personally uncomfortable.

  3. How about persecution of adulterers
    ain't they suppose to be killed?

  4. Amazing.. just wondering about Minivan news whether you people promoting Gay people or not??

  5. A drag queen shall be prosecuted but not the holier than thou jihadists roaming about, recruiting more and more, planning suicide missions to Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India?
    Dear Presidents Office - You got another thought coming real soon. Be it from your head or from down there. Thank you.

  6. I personally fully support and salute this idiot for his bravery. Yes I understand at the end of the day law is law. However, this is an inspiration to all living in Maldives whatever their cause may be. He has proved that there are solutions and don't have to live in constant fear. Only YOU can make the change. On top of it all this has created one of those uncomfortable conversations that we as a nation should be dealing with. Isn't it just unfortunate to religion that we humans were given the ability to be freethinkers and make our own choices.

  7. It is o.k to blow up in Syria and it is also o.k to spread hatred against Jews, Christians, etc and it is totally o.k to kill infidels. But it is not o.k to have religious freedom because people will know the truth and Maldivian scholars are afraid of that.

  8. Maldivians overcompensate for their sins by ostracizing and spewing hatred at people that are different.

  9. "However, this ministry has not so far received any complaints from anyone claiming to be a persecuted homosexual,” said Jannath.

    Maybe it's because you throw them all in jail.

  10. If he returns to Maldives she will be the dumbest prize-winning drag queen in Wellington.

  11. At least he has the motive of assisting the rest, he is inspiring and more like a man who wishes to stay as he is, he is brave and very courageous.

  12. @Faloa Economist
    So when Minivan Reported on Maldivian killed in Syria they were promoting jihad? How does this differ from that.
    Either you are a hypocrite or you lack basic cognitive skills. Either way I feel sorry for you and the people around you.

  13. Freethinker. You're spot on ... homosexuality is a choice.
    It's not like our eye colour or skin tone.

  14. Being gay is hereditary condition, it is simply like being short or tall or black, and whom you can blame for abnormalities in the genetic makeup of individual? If you believe in a God then the blame goes on to the creator. Since I don’t believe in any God I call it random mutation in genes or adaptation to environment. Dimwit zombies cannot grasp the reality of our nature and if you happen to live among such brain dead people, you are misfortunate and you have to learn to live with them.

  15. Being Homosexual is factually proven to be woven into your DNA, so there is no way of ignoring the fact.

    Trying to suggest otherwise is declaring God has gotten it wrong, but then again cutting off your foreskin is admitting someone made a mistake when man was created!!!!!!

  16. @dmf

    Being a sociopath and inclination to theft and whatnot can be traced back to genetics, there is such a thing as self control and these people have none.

  17. @DMF: Nah, circumcision is just the slave's way of paying homage to the zionist masters.

  18. Such a shame the world we live in.... Wake up PPM and look around you

  19. So glad this gay man escaped to New Zealand.....good decision that. Maldives is hardly the place for gay men.....unless you're turned on by short, fat and ugly men.....then you would be spoilt for choice.

  20. Gayism for sure isn't a new issue for media or government to attract attention. Powerful, rich, and influential Maldivians, it's common among the teenagers, and actually many girls are obliged to switch as Good Men are rare, or already taken.

    In the political arena, religious circles, and IT kids of today, Sex is big stuff, its spreading like wild fire and apparently everyone seems to be h...ny all the time.

    It's too late to start regulating or interfering with personal sexual life of citizens. It's illegal! In most cases, and as a fact, being gay is a natural biological function that cannot be repaired. But who says its immoral?

    Straight, gay, heterosexual or whatever is personal business, and sooner or later there will be more voices on social media, and hope not-a public demonstration. Gay community is wide and growing. Experts enjoy the share market too.

    Before talking negative about simple Maldivians voicing their rights (in modern society), step back just a few years ego...everyone knows who the gays were, but it was either your life or imprisonment.

  21. See the pattern?
    Any Maldivian who goes againt Maldives tradition and culture would be a) awarded something b) celebrated on Minivannews

    Too obvious


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