Bangladeshi waiter stabbed while delivering food

A Bangladeshi waiter was stabbed with a knife on the island of Hinnavaru in Lhaviyani Atoll whilst delivering food, local media reports.

A council member from Hinnavaru told local media that the victim had worked at “Ibiza” restaurant on the island, and was stabbed while delivering food to a house.

The councillor said that the Bangladeshi man was stabbed in the stomach, and is currently being treated in the island medical centre. His condition is not serious, the councillor said.

Police told local media that a 17-year-old had been taken into custody in relation to the attack.


Four arrested in connection with Fuvamulak stabbings

Three men and a minor have been arrested in connection with a gang fight that occurred in Fuvamulah yesterday.

According to police, an 18 year-old, 21 year-old, and 23 year old man and a minor were arrested in connection with the stabbing.

Police said the incident occurred at around 7:40pm, withtwo men aged 21 and 22 years-old stabbed on the island of Fuvamulah in Gnaviyani Atoll.

Police said the 21 year-old man was stabbed in the neck and was brought Male’ after Fuvamulah Atoll Hospital declared his condition was critical.

The man was brought Male’ this morning and was admitted to Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH)’s Intensive Care Unit.

The injured pair were identified the police as Ahmed Muslim, 21 and Ibrahim Shifaz, 22 both from the island of Fuvamulah.

Shifaz was stabbed three times. According to doctors police said blood was leaking inside Muslim’s body from the cut in his neck.

Police officers attended the scene and carried the pair to Fuvamulah Hospital.

Fuvamulak Police Station is now investigating the case, police said.


Police arrest 60 year-old man for stabbing his 30 year-old wife

Police have arrested a 60 year-old man for stabbing his 30 year-old wife on the island of Milandhoo in Shaviyani Atoll.

Shavayani Atoll Milandhoo Health Centre Head Ahmed Shahid today told Minivan News that the woman was brought to the Health Centre at about 11:00am this morning.

According to Shahid the woman was stabbed once and did not suffer major injuries.

“She was discharged from the Health Centre today after being treated for the stab wound,” Shahid said.

“I think the attack came after they had some family issues,” he said, adding that islanders had “always suspected that the man was a drug addict.”

In a statement issued today, police said that the 60 year-old suspect has been held in police custody, and confirmed that he had a previous record of drug abuse.

The Chair of Shaviyani Milandhoo Island Council did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.

Police have not revealed the identity of the man arrested or the victim.


Lawyer Najeeb murdered: Supreme court and AG call for action as public demand death penalty

The judiciary and authorities have come to high alert after prominent Lawyer Ahmed Najeeb was found brutally murdered on Sunday night.

Police were called to second floor apartment in Maafanu Masroora house in the capital Male’ at around 6:45pm yesterday evening, where they found 65 year-old Najeeb’s body inside a large dustbin, gagged, badly beaten up and stabbed multiple times.

According to eye witnesses, his face was lobotomised with a knife beyond recognition, and a blade was found stuck underneath his chin.

Though police have not revealed details of the case they have confirmed that a suspect, identified as 29 year-old Ahmed Murrath, has been arrested in connection to the murder. His 18 year-old girlfriend is also also being questioned by the police, according to some media reports.

Murrath, who is registered as residing at the house where lawyer’s body was found, is reported to be a convicted criminal released under the former government’s Second Chance Program, under which over 300 inmates incarcerated for drug offences were conditionally released.

Devastated family members of Najeeb and friends were seen crying at Indira Ghandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) last night as the hospital official conducted the medical examination of the body.

“He was so badly beaten up and stabbed. Everyone is so shocked and devastated. He is a very nice and kind man. Why would someone to something so horrible?” said a relative of  the victim.

According to early reports, Najeeb was providing legal counsel in dividing the house, Masroora, between its heirs. Police have yet to give confirmation of this.

He is scheduled to be buried after Asru prayer this evening.

Judiciary on alert

Meanwhile, Najeeb’s background as a lawyer and writer has prompted both Attorney General Aishath Azima Shakoor and the apex court to take the unprecedented step of issuing statements condemning the murder.

He is the sixth victim to be killed this year, while several others have been brutally injured in a spate of gang violence across capital Male’ and atolls.

The Supreme Court said that “attacks against lawyers will not be tolerated” and that it takes every necessary measure to provide protection and security to lawyers.

“Crimes like these are committed with utter disregard to dignity entitled to the people, and are beyond the boundaries of humanity. When such crimes occur, the whole society plunges into fear and chaos,” the statement read.

Therefore, it adds, taking action against the attacker responsible for Najeeb’s murder is necessary for both public security and peace.

The Attorney General’s Office meanwhile echoed the apex court’s statement, emphasising that lawyers today are serving in an “increasingly dangerous environment.”

The AG’s Office reported that Azima made clear the need for prompt actions to make sure such crimes are not repeated.

Calls for death penalty grows

Home Minister Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, speaking at a press conference today, repeated his call for a decision on the implementation of the death penalty in relation to such crimes.

“We want death for death,” a crowd gathered near IGMH last night shouted, as Najeeb’s body was brought to the ambulance.

In recent times gang violence, burglary, mugging, sexual abuse of children and murders are increasing to levels of alarming concern in society, and the rise in criminal-related death tolls have provoked public pressure to implement the death penalty or capital punishment in the Maldives.

Under Islamic Sharia, the death penalty is the punishment of a murderer (one who kills deliberately) and that he is to be killed in retaliation (Qisaas) unless the victim’s next of kin let him off or agree to accept the ‘Diyah’ (blood money).

Although death sentences are issued by courts in the Maldives, traditionally those sentences a commuted to life imprisonment under the power vested in the President.

From January 2001 to December 2010, a total of 14 people were sentenced to death by the courts, and none from them have been executed. The last person to be executed in the Maldives after receiving a death sentence was in 1953 during the first republican President Mohamed Ameen. Hakim Didi was charged with attempting to assassinate President Ameen using black magic.

Following  reports of the murder, the government-aligned Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM)’s parliament group member Ahmed Mahloof  proposed an amendment to the Clemency Act (Act no 2/2010) which would make performing the death penalty mandatory in the event it was upheld by the Supreme Court.

His amendment would require the President to enforce any death penalty if the Supreme Court issued the verdict of death, or if the Supreme Court supported the ruling of the death penalty made by either the Criminal court or the High Court. This move would halt the current practice of the President commuting such sentences to life imprisonment.

Previously, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Rasheed and later MP Ibrahim Muthalib also submitted similar amendments to the clemency act although both subsequently withdrew the motions.

“I believe nobody would want to die. So if the death penalty is enforced, a person who is to commit a murder would clearly know that if he carries out the act, his punishment would be his life. I believe this will deter him from committing such acts,” Mahloof said following the submission of the amendment.

In the Initial Report of Maldives under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prepared by Human Rights Commission (HRCM) in 2011, the commission noted that growing public sentiment to impose death penalty.

But implementing death penalty may not be as easy as it sounds.

According to the commission, the Maldives has affirmed the UN Resolution of Moratorium on death penalty on 18 December 2007, which emphasises all states that still provision capital punishment “progressively restrict the use of the death penalty and reduce the number of offences for which it may be imposed.”

“This resolution still needs to be passed by the parliament” it reads.

Furthermore, there are several laws pending which are related to the enforcement of the death penalty including, the passage of the revised Penal Code, Criminal Procedures Code, Evidence Bill and Witness Act, the commission adds.

The Maldives is yet to establish an independent forensic institution to provide accurate information to support the judiciary to make an impartial decision on matters concerning the administration of the death penalty.

Meanwhile the commission acknowledged that the “life threatening acts of crime in the country have been aggravated” due to a number of direct and indirect factors, of which the direct problems include “inadequate legislation pertaining the criminal justice system”.

The existing Penal Code which was enforced in 1981 and its last amendment made in 200 has many parts which are not relevant to the present context and does not reflect the spirit of the present Constitution.

Moreover,the commission identifies the  inadequate legislations pertaining to evidence and witnesses, dismissal of forensic evidence by courts, absence  of  a witness protection program and inadequate correctional and rehabilitation system for convicted offenders as key factors.

“The lack of a comprehensive integrated crime prevention mechanism remains the greatest weakness in addressing the issue of increase in crime. High numbers of unemployed youth, and the persistent substance abuse and drug addiction among youth in the country are indirect factors catalysing the increase in crime,” the HRCM report adds.

Therefore, to address the above, says the HRCM, the “state should revise the existing Penal Code, and bring into force the Criminal Procedure Code – the other legislation pertaining to evidence and witnesses.”

“The State should further establish effective rehabilitation mechanisms for offenders, better prisons and correctional facilities to house and to rehabilitate criminals, and to strengthen effective coordination between drug rehabilitation system and criminal justice system,” it concludes.


Seventeen year-old boy and an expatriate worker stabbed

A 17 year-old boy and an expatriate worker were stabbed in two different areas of Male’ on Saturday evening, according to police.

According to police, the 17 year-old boy was stabbed by two men that arrived on a motorbike last night at about 4:30am while he was walking near Olhuveli Road in Maafannu ward.

The boy was stabbed in the back and is currently undergoing treatment at Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

Police said the expat attacked last night was a 29 year-old man who was attacked while he was on Sosun Magu in Henveiru.

The man was also stabbed in the back by two men that came on a motorbike, police said.

According to the police, the victim is currently undergoing treatment at ADK Hospital. Neither victim was critically injured, police said.

No arrests have been made following the incidents but police are searching for the assailants. Police have not revealed names of any suspects.

So far in June 86 cases of assault have been reported to police, according to police statistics.


Two arrested in connection with the stabbing of Bangladeshi man

Police have arrested two Maldivian men who were allegedly involved in the stabbing of a Bangladeshi man last night at about 12:30am, while he was near Personal Computers, a computer shop in the Maafanu ward of Male’.

The names and identity of the pair arrested were not disclosed to the media but police said one man was 18 and the other was 19 years-old.

Police said they have confiscated the sharp weapon the assailants used near Maafannu Vakkaru house, with blood on it.

According to police the Bangladeshi man was stabbed in the neck from behind, and he was taken to Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) for treatment.

A statement police issued today said that the man’s condition was improving.

Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef today told Minivan News that police have information that four persons were involved in the attack on the Bangladeshi man.

‘’We are searching for the other two involved,’’ Haneef said. ‘’We are not very clear on the motive behind the attack.’’

The stabbing is the latest in a wave of similar incidents across Male’, some of which have proven fatal.

Early last week, prominent Maldivian blogger and journalist Ismail ‘Hilath’ Rasheed was left in a critical condition after his throat was slashed outside his house in Male’. A Bangladeshi man was also stabbed the same evening and suffered minor injuries.

On May 30, the dead body of 16 year-old Mohamed Arham was discovered by police inside the park behind Kulliyathul Dhirasathul Islamiyya.

On May 31, 65 year-old Hassan Abubakur was found murdered inside his own house on the island of Maafaru in Noonu Atoll.

Police have arrested suspects for every stabbing incident with the exception of the attack on Hilath.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have condemned the attack on the journalist, describing it as having  “all the hallmarks of a targeted murder attempt.”

“Rasheed has made many enemies through his outspoken blogging. The authorities in charge of the investigation should not rule out the possibility that this was linked to his journalistic activity. He is a well-known journalist who has repeatedly been censored, arrested and threatened,” RSF said in a statement.
“The police must, as a matter of urgency, put a stop to the harassment of Rasheed and take the issue of his safety seriously. Any lack of response on their part will constitute a criminal failure to assist a person in danger.”

Police vehicle collides with MDP supporters on Fuvamulah, injures two

A police vehicle collided with a group of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters while it was en-route to a crime scene on Fuvamulah in Gnaviyani Atoll, where a gang had stabbed one man, injured two others and damaged parked motorcycles.

In a statement, police said the vehicle collided with a motorcycle that had turned into Ghaazee Road.

People in the area when the incident occurred vandalised the police vehicle and assaulted police officers in the vehicle, read the police statement.

Police said two persons injured in the accident, as well as the gang attack victim, were admitted to Fuvamulah Hospital.

However online newspaper ‘Kattelhi’, based in Fuvamulah, reported that the  police vehicle was returning from the crime scene at around 9:30pm when it collided with a motorcyclist, causing the driver to lose control and crash into parked motorcycles. The paper alleged the vehicle was travelling at a very high speed.

Immediately following the crash, people gathered in front of the MDP Fuvamulah Office surrounded the police vehicle, broke the glass, and attacked police officers inside the vehicle, Kattelhi reported.

Kattelhi reported that its reporters witnessed some of the officers being admitted to Fuvamulah Hospital.

The paper identified the injured two persons as Ahmed Hassan, 23 and Ali Saeed, 30 both of them Fuvamulah islanders.

According to Kattelhi one man’s head was badly injured and his body bruised, however according to Fuvamulah Hospital no one was seriously injured.

Minivan News understands that the person who received injuries to his head has been brought to Male’ for treatment.

One man suffered bruises and head injuries in the accident

Kattelhi quoted people in the area as saying that the police vehicle was travelling at an unusually high speed and that there was enough space for it in the middle of the road. MDP supporters were on both sides of road attending a meeting.

The paper identified the gang attack victim as 18 year-old Ahmed Juman, who was stabbed in the head but was not seriously injured.

Supporters of government-aligned parties later gathered near Fuvamulah Hospital and Fuvamulah Police Headquarters, claiming that they believed MDP supporters were coming to attack police, according to Kattelhi. The crowd left after police requested them to leave.

Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef said the police statement was issued based on the information police have received so far and that the investigation into the case was ongoing.


High Court rules against keeping Muheeth murder suspect under house arrest

The High Court has overturned a previous Juvenile Court ruling to keep the main suspect in the murder of Abdul Muheeth under house arrest, declaring that the minor should be detained in accordance with the Home Ministry.

The High Court said yesterday that it had been notified by the Prosecutor General (PG’s) Office that the original Juvenile Court decision had not properly considered the present charges against the suspect or his criminal record.

In overruling the Juvenile Court, the High Court said the minor might become a threat to the society if detained under house arrest.

The PG also claimed during the High Court ruling that the Juvenile Court had not properly considered that the suspect, who is a minor, might influence the trial’s witnesses should he be released from police detention.

It was noted yesterday that the Juvenile Court has issued five warrants related to the case, with the most recent requesting that the suspect be put under house arrest.

The four previous warrants issued requested the suspect be kept in a place determined by the Home Ministry over concerns he might influence witnesses should he be released from detention.

The High Court said that when keeping a suspect in detention, the presiding judge in the case is required to refer to several different factors, such as the crime involved and the challenges faced in investigating the offence.

Other factors a judge needed to consider were the number of persons involved in the crime, the nature of the crime, the penalty for the crime, the probability that the accused might flee and the probability of influencing witnesses.

The High Court stated that the suspect had a criminal record with five previous offences.  The court said that these cases included involvement in an unlawful gathering whilst in possession of a violent weapon, a charge of assault using a violent weapon and one case of terrorism. In considering the suspect’s record, the High Court said it could be believed he might be a threat to the society if released from detention.

The PG requested the High Court to keep the minor in pre-trial detention until the court reaches a verdict on the case.  However, the High Court said the police had earlier requested the Juvenile Court grant an extension of detention for 15 days and it could only refer to police requests made at that time.

Muheeth, of G. Veyru, was stabbed to death near the Finance Ministry building on February 19.  Five suspects were arrested in connection with the case.

Police Inspector Abdulla Satheeh has previously told local media that the investigation into Muheeth’s death showed that the victim had not been involved in gang related crimes and this was not being considered a motive for the attack.  Satheeh added that the victim had no police record and was working in a responsible job at the time.


Gang stab minor six times

A minor aged under 18 fainted after he was stabbed six times in the back by a gang on Friday, on Izudheen Road in front of Maafannu Cemetery in Male’.

According to police, the boy was stabbed six times in his back and once in his left hand, and fainted on the spot due to the injuries.

The assailants threw away the knives they used in attack and fled on motorbikes against the one way sign boards.

People at the area carried the boy to Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) on a motorbike. He is currently being treated at the hospital.

In a statement, police said the case was reported to police at about 3:15pm on Friday.

Local newspapers reported that the assailants threw the knives they used in the attack into the water drain on the roa, but witnesses recovered the knives and handed them to police.

Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News that two persons had been arrested in connection with the case.

Haneef said further details about the persons arrested or the investigation could not be disclosed at the time.

‘’We will provide details later,’’ Haneef added.

On the first of this month, Ali Shifan ‘Tholhi Palay’, 33 of Fairy Corner house was stabbed to death near West Park Restaurant on Boduthakurufaanu Road.

A friend of Shifan told Minivan News at the time that Shifan was attacked while he was waiting in front of West Park Restaurant for a friend.

‘’He was having a coffee inside West Park Restaurant and went out because a friend of him was coming to see him,’’ he said. ‘’He was waiting with another friend and this group shows up with sharp weapons.’’

Last month a 21 year-old man, identified as Abdul Muheeth of G. Veyru, was rushed to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) after he was stabbed at 1:45am near the Finance Ministry building. He later died during treatment.

Police later said that the assailants mistakenly attacked him and that he had no criminal record or affiliations with gangs either.