Murder of newborn baby sends mother and daughter to life in prison

The Criminal Court has sentenced a woman and her mother to life in prison for killing an illegitimate new born baby.

Aminath Hussain, 31, and her 64 year old mother Sakeena Ali, both of Omadhu, Thaa Atoll confessed to the crime in court.

According to the court, the baby was delivered in a toilet, after which the grandmother submerged the baby in a pool of water.

They then put the baby into a polythene bag and buried it near the beach.

The Criminal Court has acquitted the 21 year old father of the crime.

Omadhu Case

Police Sub Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said there were “some clues that [the father] had some involvement,” but added that the court had made its decision and the police respected it.

Shiyam said although these types of cases are “not [reported on] a lot” there is another similar case currently being processed where a new born baby was “thrown into the sea” in Laamu Atoll.

Island Councillor for Omadhu Ahmed Abdulla said the incident occurred last year.

He said an islander knocked on his door early one morning when he was preparing to attend the first school assembly of the year.

“He knocked and told me to come out quick,” Abdulla said, “and when I came out, he told me that a baby had been killed on the beach.”

Abdulla said he immediately went to the beach and saw the baby’s legs protruding from the polythene bag.

He said there was blood around the baby’s neck, which appeared to be broken.

Abdulla then informed the police, who told him to monitor the crime scene until they arrived.

Shiyam confirmed the police had received a call from the island office reporting the crime.

Illegitimate children under Sharia law

Because abortion is illegal in the Maldives (the exception being if an unborn child is diagnosed with Thalassaemia), some women travel overseas to perform the operation..

But many cannot afford to so.

Deputy Minister of Health and Family Mariya Ali said “we don’t know a lot about it but there have been other [similar] cases.”

“It’s something that should be considered under child mortality,” she said, adding that there had been no comprehensive studies on the subject.

“We don’t hear about it a lot,” Ali said, “and we don’t know the exact prevalence of these cases.”

She added that many cases are probably not reported.

Mariya said there could be many reasons behind a family choosing to kill a baby, the main reason probably being that “children born out of wedlock still face discrimination” in society.

She noted that other factors, like the mother’s mental state, should be considered when looking at the reasons why people resort to these crimes.

Because under Sharia law premarital sex is forbidden, young couples can find themselves looking for a solution to get rid of an unwanted, and illegitimate, child.

Mariya said the Ministry of Health and Family would “talk to the Islamic Ministry and see how we can deal with these issues and reduce the number of cases.”

She added that “under Maldivian law, this is considered murder.”

Mohamed Shihaab of Child Abuse Watch Maldives did not hesitate in saying a crime such as this one “is not child abuse, it is murder.”

He said “some people think children born out of wedlock do not have a right to life,” adding that it was a major concern for the country.

“We need to look at how justice is served,” Shihaab said. “In how many cases has it not been served?”

“People need to accept we live in a more complex society. The police, the Prosecutor General and the judiciary also need to be more advanced.”

Sheikh Abdulla Jameel said people were not afraid of committing these kind of crimes because the courts did not punish according to Sharia law.

He explained that the Qur’an says a person must be killed if the court finds them guilty of a murder.

“The judge decides how [the person] will be killed,” explained Sheikh Abdulla, adding that “people would be afraid to commit such crimes if the courts start punishing according to Islamic Sharia.”


18 thoughts on “Murder of newborn baby sends mother and daughter to life in prison”

  1. these things would just stop if proper legal action is taken against drug dealers and rapists and child abusers and murderers.. doesnt have to be sharia law in all cases. just dont let these people escape. even now just because of political benefits and corruption, evil men and women are on the loose. the political parties should STOP trying to make things difficult for each other and START helping the people of this small nation. even a bunch of primary school kids can do what they do now!

  2. The courts did punish this woman accordingly, however the Health Ministry is right in saying that this does not address the underlying problem. At the very least, contraception needs to be made available across the nation. If a child can be aborted for having Thalassaeima, then the mother's choice and child's future life should be considered grounds for abortion as well during the appropriate time frame.

    However, Sheikh Abdullah Jameel's solution of enforcing capital punishment is not an acceptable solution. Murder, whether it is by the state or another human being is still murder. What if confessions are coerced? Or evidence is circumstantial? I do not trust ANY justice system enough to be sure that it is infallible. To take an accused person's life is something that can never be undone. We cannot ever condone capital punishment.

  3. Because premartial sex is illegal (and let's be realistic: there is NO way to stop it!) and “some people think children born out of wedlock do not have a right to life,” - that's why 1) illegal abortions and 2) baby murders are happening!

    How many children would live happily if the SOCIETY changed their views on children born out of wedlock?

    How many murders could be avoided if the termination of pregnancy up to the 12th week would be legal?

    How many pregnancies could be avoided if people (especially men!) change their view on condoms? If we had sex education? If we had awareness campaigns on contraceptiva?

    I do not only blame the (grand-)mother for this incident, but also the prude & conservative society we're living in!

  4. “Because under Sharia law premarital sex is forbidden, young couples can find themselves looking for a solution to get rid of an unwanted, and illegitimate, child.”,
    Premarital relationships are forbidden. I think its increasing because the legal system has denied imposing strict restriction. Its murder, but capital punishment shall not be imposed, in this case. There are cases where the court has decided to be beheaded, but the enforcement is quite secular. The reason behind increasing such crimes is that the punishment is moderate.

  5. WHO decides anyway that "premartial relationships are forbidden"???

    Who has the right to decided that?

    It doesn't work anyway!

    May result in an early marriage - and finally divorce! Maldives is still having the highest divorce rate in the world, why?

    Let them have their relationship, it's their private life! Let them experience what it means to have different partners, let them enjoy life, but: responsibly! This is why we need sex education and contraceptives!

    I don't think this country wants to end up like Iran, where men are being married to prostitutes in the mosque just to have legal sex, because Sharia forbids extramartial sex.

    WHO can decided upon such a private issue like sex!? Sharia?

  6. This is the type of tragedy which you can expect due the issue of Unwanted Pregnancies resulting in Maldives from a combined host factors: religious conservatism, lack of education, and lack of exposure to science and other cultures.

  7. As it appear, Maldives has become a nation of believers and non believers alike, but cannot, and would not accept basic truth and fact!

  8. The commenters here has to respect Maldivian culture and beliefs before proposing or condemning our actions. Words can be uttered but no action can be taken which is against the culture and beliefs of most Maldivians. This doesn't happen in USA nor in UK nor in India. Respect is something missing from some calling for whatever works in other countries.

  9. Why do these women dont think before they open up there legs apart and lay down on the bed for the men? If you were to kill an innocent child, why make them in the first place? Disgusting... Such women should be harshly punished as they are nothing but evil.

  10. Whats the main reason of having an ageing population in many western countries? Lets face it, if we are allowed to have premarital sex, do you think we would marry and take the burden of raising children. We would love to have all the fun - until we reach that 'mature age' of 35 - and at this age it comes as a surprise to know that our biological clock has just passed 12 o'clock. Ouch!. Please do not try to copy models employed in western countries - these are not ideal models.

  11. @Ibrahim Yasir: "Why do these women dont think before they open up there legs apart and lay down on the bed for the men? If you were to kill an innocent child, why make them in the first place?" even when writing this, you didn't know that it takes two to make a child and for that matter not two women, but a man and a woman?!!! So just because it is the woman who becomes pregnant, she alone should bear the responsibility of becoming pregnant? I agree that woman should insist on protection more than men cause ultimately everyone is narrow minded enough to just blame the woman but really, the fact is she couldn't have become pregnant without a male sperm!!! And what about women who are raped and abused by men? I guess you would say women are to blame for tempting men to rape them....oh boy, isn't life convenient?!!!

  12. People like this Yasir fella really does sum up our culture's ignorance and misogyny.

  13. Ah Yasir. Making a fool out of yourself again, I see. I ran you out of Facebook and now you're haranguing Minivannews. Ach, the horrors of giving a buffoon an internet connection.

    Lets make this clear - the forced policies of the far-right conservatives are spewing is the cause for this; that and a society built up on "face image" rather than a truly strong one.

    And now you call for even more restrictions... in the name of Islam. Restrictions will not solve the problem; Maldives'll become like post-revolutionary Iran - where women were executed for getting raped... while pregnant.

    So, murdering a child does not carry the death sentence, but to insult your so-called religion does?. What kind of injustice is that?.

  14. Reading through these comments is extremely worrying. They generally are very polarised with religous right asking for extreme punishments and disregard to realities of life. On the other extreme, they are openly denoucing religion and completely ignoring the cultural and religious aspect of society. I deeply worry about our future.
    BTW: The punishment of life in prison sounds about right for this crime - whether you look at it from a religious point or not.

  15. Ibrahim, an aging population is not necessarily bad. Premarital sex is something that everyone does, so let's make it legal and enjoy it (responsibly with contraceptives!).

    A mother of 30 will have more experience in her life than a 16 or 18 year old (who should anyway enjoy education rather than parenthood!). Undoubtedly, there will be young mature mothers too, but rather rare to find.

    You get married young, have a child and then? Divorce. Get married again, have another child. Divorce. Patchwork families are nothing uncommon in the Maldives, and the meaning of "marriage" - the promise of two lovers to be together for the rest of their lives - is lost.

    And - I agree with Mariyam - there are always two in order to produce a child. Where was the responsible man who suggested using a condom? Who'll be flogged? The woman!

    FOR sex education, FOR contraceptives, FOR women's rights... and let sex be a very private thing (18+)!

  16. Marina: "Ibrahim, an aging population is not necessarily bad. "

    Marina, I think you read a bit on how economic systems work - particular on the pyramid system.


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