Police and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officer uniform regulations have been amended to allow the growing of beards.
Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz informed local media that the police management board had decided to allow officers to grow beards as officers had been requesting it.
Riyaz said the regulations had been amended and sent to the Home Ministry to be forwarded to the President’s Office, for publication in the government gazette on June 1.
According to the new amendment, police will be allowed to grow their beards up to two centimetres in length.
Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim has also confirmed the uniform regulations for MNDF officers will be amended, and published in the government gazette.
Nazim told local newspapers that the decision was made after requests from MNDF officers, on the grounds of religion and human rights.
The growing of beards by the armed forces was permitted in many other countries, Nazim said.
In May 2012, the Islamic Ministry requested amendments to the uniform code of the security services to authorise army and police officers to grow facial hair.
A media official from the ministry told Minivan News at the time that a letter was sent to the President’s Office officially requesting the policy change “to give permission to police and army officers to grow beards as in other Islamic countries, since our constitution is based on Islamic principles.”