Fourteen year-old girl latest victim in surge of rape crimes

Police are investigating the rape of a 14 year-old girl on Muli island of Meemu Atoll, the latest incident in an increasing number of sexual crimes against women and girls in the Maldives.

According to the police the incident was reported around 1.30am Sunday night, and a 19 year-old man was arrested on charges of rape.

The suspect has a history of criminal behaviour including assault and theft, police stated.

Rise in rapes

The 14 year-old’s rape comes less than two weeks after a 19 year old girl was snatched from the streets of Hulhumale’ and allegedly raped by a man believed to be an expatriate on the early morning of August 3.

More than 1000 expatriate workers have been searched and interrogated in the ongoing hunt to find the foreign national accused, according to police.

Just two days later on August 5, the police stated that two minors and two men have also been arrested in connection with the rape and filming of an underage girl in a house in Male’. The rape incident occurred on July 27.

Meanwhile, on July 30, the police arrested four men and one minor in connection with the gang rape of a 17 year-old girl on the island of Milandhoo in Shaviyani Atoll.

Police acknowledged that an increasing number of rape and sexual abuse cases had been reported this year.

“We urge parents to be more careful with children’s whereabouts, and check who they meet and hang out with,” a police spokesperson noted. “Parents also need to be careful of people who visit their homes.”

Surveys indicate that most of the sexual perpetrators are known persons, including family members and friends.

Last year three cases of rape incidents were reported to the police while in 2011 a total of 13 cases were investigated, according to the annual police statistics report 2011/2012.

Most cases were gang-rapes and the victims included girls as young as 13.

Tip of the iceberg

Sharing her concerns over the increasing number of sexual crimes against women, Assistant Representative of UNFPA Maldives Shadiya Ibrahim warned an increasing number of rape cases were just “the tip of the iceberg”.

She suggested that many of rape and abuse cases go “unreported and uninvestigated” .

“The culture of impunity is one factor why sexual violence against women and girls is increasing,” Shadiya observed.

While a number of rape cases are reported in the Maldives, few are prosecuted – especially if the victim is 18 or above.

Rape cases involving minors are prosecuted as child abuse cases with a maximum penalty of 20 years depending on the magnitude of the offence. In contrast, rape cases in which the victim is an adult, are deemed as “forced fornication” under the existing regulation on sexual offences, according to the Prosecutor General Office. To prove fornication – whether forced or not – requires a confession or four witnesses.

“Due to this burden of proof, proving rape cases becomes next to impossible,” a state prosecutor told Minivan News in an earlier interview on the subject.

Therefore, adult rape victim’s cases are detracted to a sexual assault or harassment offence, in which the four witnesses and confession is not required. However, penalty for sexual assault is only two to three year long imprisonment.

The amended penal code and sexual offences bill currently being deliberated by parliament committees provide a legal remedy to the problem of inadequate legal definition of rape, and if passed will ease the existing burden of proof, making it easier to prosecute rape cases.

Meanwhile, the UNFPA also named other underlying issues contributing to the surge in sexual violence against women; including gender-inequalities that makes women and girls particularly more vulnerable to abuse and secondly, men’s attitude.

“A recent survey based on men’s experiences of violence shows that entitlement is one of the main reason for men to rape,” Shadiya pointed out. “Men surveyed believe it is their right to rape and they can simply get away with it.”

She concluded that a huge shift was required in the attitudes of public and authorities in condemning violence against women as an inexcusable human rights violation.

“Parliamentarians, prosecutors, police and judges needs to be gender-sensitised to achieve progress in reducing violence against women.” she added.

Minivan News contacted the Gender Ministry but had received no response at time of press.

Earlier this year, Maldives came under international scrutiny following the sentencing of a 15 year old rape victim to 100 lashes on charges of fornication – a symbolic case reflecting the systematic injustices suffered by some rape victims.

Widespread international coverage of the sentencing has since led to over two million people signing an petition calling for her sentence to be quashed, a moratorium on flogging, and reform of laws to protect women and girls in the Maldives.


14 thoughts on “Fourteen year-old girl latest victim in surge of rape crimes”

  1. When person or party is accused of rape, in man/gang on woman cases the accused party can claim the woman did not scream, and it is highly likely that the case be tried as a case of consensual sex I.e fornication.

    Thats how our legal system rolls ...

  2. and no one does anything against it. i wonder if there are any bets on for ppl to rape women these days? cd be a possibility as its no harm anyhow and nothing will be done against them...

  3. Flog flog flog!

    Flog flog flog!

    Sheikh Imran and mullah Ali Rameez would now be salivating and rubbing their hands in anticipation.Oh my... Woof woof...

  4. "In human history, the wife of Sayyidina Null was a very bad example among the wives of the preachers. In fact, she was also a lesson and example for the disbelievers.

    The Qur'an has described her sin and disbelief as betrayal. However, we must remember that her betrayal was not in
    their marital life. Rather, it was in belief of tawhid (monotheism) and - her husband's invitation. She betrayed
    him by incitng the people not to accept his invitation.

    Why did she reject his call? There is no answer to this question in books of history and the Qur'an. Nevertheless,
    history books do record her biography. This descloses that she was a resolute, strong woman. She did try to achieve a distinct position in the manner of women of this generation who seek to win liberation.

    She was a champion of women's liberation movement. Thus, one of the reason to reject her husband was her
    arrogance about her own person. She hindered her husband all through the nine hundred and fifty years of his energetic preaching merely to hold out that she was and independent woman. The result was that her arrogance took her to Hell."


  5. The moment someone tries to put an end to judicial injustice, the rapists will put on beards and scream 'laadheenee' at the person.

    Unless we exterminate the so-called 'wannabe religious' thugs, these poor victims of rape will become victims of state-sponsored rape.

  6. “Recent research shows that entitlement is one of the main reason for men to rape,” Shadiya pointed out. “Men believe it is their right to rape and they can simply get away with it.”

    So according to Shadiya all men claims that it is their right to rape?

    On the other hand Majilis has already skipped 10 Sessions stating they have no work.. guess they don't even care about this at all!

  7. the result of this is as bright as sun.flog to the rape victim & rapist go on for normal life.

  8. Like usual, were there 4 witnesses? If not, this girl should be flogged under Islamic law, which was created by Allah Himself. Mere humans can't question the will of Allah!

  9. Rape is the tip of the iceberg of the culture of selfishness. Selfishness so extreme it is violent, is destroying the whole nation, this rape is the most manifest example of the desire for power at any cost which is a disease eating the soul of nearly every one. Only love so extreme it is capable of self sacrificial agony is string enough to combat the extreme selfishness which is rendering the dhivehin desolate of love, empty.

  10. Love so intense it is painful, love so strong it fears nothing, no trauma, no affliction, no death, can stop it. Only that love which is courageous enough to endure all will end the extreme selfishness which is at the core of this culture of death. How do you attain that love? No, it attains you , but only when you are screaming out from within the furnace of affliction, in such intense pain you would prefer to die... Until... Something is awakened deep within you which chooses to live.

  11. Ben.
    Nice, but you really must be thinking about a place far from Mordis these days.

    Maybe it existed when we were more isolated. Long long time ago. Sacrificial Love? Definitely not anymore, for sure.

  12. Some examples of what i mean by this love to show it is not just an abstract concept or emotional codswallop include:

    1.)A leader who for the sake of Justice, Peace, preservation of life and the well-being of society, would rather go through the pain of having his own corruption exposed than pay a gangster to kill any who dare to expose him. My "man of love" would be strong enough to endure the struggle of financial, legal hardship, withstand with dignity the damage to his reputation, strong in the midst of rejection, struggle, jail time, accepting that his pain is for the good of the people who has claimed to serve. Perhaps eventually, the public would gain the feeling that he is a genuinely caring person, and he would gain more respect in the end than he had in the beginning, though it may cost the endurance of ten, twenty years of pain.

    2.)An ex-President, or a President, or any person or leader, who for the sake of peace, and for saving money needed for the people, is willing to sacrifice his own need for revenge and pride and forgive his opponents (only for the crimes or alleged crimes or false allegations committed against himself) rather than waste money needed to educate the poor, to employ the poor, on court fees and police fees in the arrest and imprisonment.

    3.) A cop who would willingly risk himself to jump in and save someone from a gangster attack, fight for that person, even it it means he is probably going to be wounded himself for doing so.

    4.) An official, cop, or anybody, who is willing to struggle a little, rather than accept a bribe.

    5.) A person who has so much love for the people, that that love gives him or her the guts to speak the truth about a corrupt tyrant for the sake of saving money for the people, even if it means they may lose their loved ones, their job, their welfare, their safety, their reputation for doing so.

    6.) A Husband who is willing to struggle to reform himself and go through the pain of withdrawals from drugs in order to spend more time with his wife and kids.

    6.) A man who respects the dignity of the freedom of choice of another enough to deal with his sexual urges for her in a way other than forcing sex with her.

    7.) A leader who loves his people too much too force them to be unhappy by paying lip service to a religion they don't believe in. There is something very dignified, noble, and powerful about respecting others freedom of conscience, when you respect freedom you come across as looking like a very dignified, generous, cultured person. When you refuse freedom of conscience to others, you are, and you look like a vicious, small minded, small hearted, lusty, sick control freak low life scummy tyrant.

    You guys could go on giving examples of what I mean, i am sure.

    The point is, somebody has to start making these sacrifices to begin to inspire people with the dignity of self sacrificial love, the courage, the nobility of it. A poor man from the lowest caste with the courage to love, and the strength to endure its pain is a million times richer than, more noble than a King or a Befulhu who is selfish.

    Maldivians need to see this love in action, to feel this love in action - to be moved towards it, moved by its nobility. Only then can they begin to be inspired to begin to move away from living for their own immediate sensual gratification and to begin to refrain from using others, and begin respecting others.


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