The Juvenile Court has acquitted a minor charged with terrorism in the wake of a violent confrontation in the island of Himandhoo in Alif Alif atoll between a breakaway religious group and security forces.
The confrontation occurred in 2007 after police and military were dispatched to the island to shut down a private mosque and arrest suspects in the Sultan Park bombing incident.
Juvenile Court Spokesperson Zaeema Nasheed confirmed that the case was concluded today.
“This morning the case was concluded that he was found innocent,” Zaeema said. “He had been charged with terrorism.”
More than 50 people were arrested in the aftermath of the clashes in Himandhoo after islanders donned red motorcycle helmets and armed themselves with batons and knives to defend the Dhar al Khuir mosque on 6 October 2007. Police and soldiers were searching for suspects in the Maldives’ first Islamic terror investigation following a bomb blast in Sultan Park that injured 12 tourists.
On 2010 February 9, senior members of the current administration met with 16 people arrested and sentenced for the Himandhoo protest to inform them that President Mohamed Nasheed had decided to commute their sentences under the Clemency Act.
The confrontation in Himandhoo left one policeman with a severed hand while four others were injured. An officer was also held hostage by the group, who surrendered to the army after a last warning to evacuate the mosque by force.