Woman hospitalised after falling from third floor

A woman who fell from the third floor of an apartment onto a parked car was admitted to Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in the early hours of Saturday (31 August 2013).

According to the local media the incident occurred early morning at 1:25am.

Police have meanwhile issued a statement saying that two men, who were inside the apartment, were arrested the following morning.

Police declined to provide further details of the case, while IGMH hospital declined to provide details of the injuries received in the incident.

However, local media did report that she had fallen from the third floor of a house named Mahuma in Galolhu ward.


Woman sentenced to exile over misappropriation of tsunami relief funds

A woman has been sentenced to exile for three years and seven months by the Criminal Court for misappropriation of tsunami relief funds.

Criminal Court said that Sharmeela Sharaeef of Oivaru, Meedhoo in Dhaalu Atoll, had been initially been handed MVR 266,888 (US$17,307) by the government on September 16, 2009, local media reported.

However, only MVR 89,572 (US$5800) was distributed to 49 households and the remaining MVR 177,316  (US$11,500) had been kept in her desk drawer, according to local media.

The money was provided by the government to be distributed to farmers on the island of Meedhoo in Dhaalu Atoll, who suffered losses during the 2004 tsunami.

The Criminal Court ruling stated that one day after she had been handed the relief funds, MVR 13,200 kept in Sharmeela’s care had gone missing.

The ruling stated that it could not be proven in court that a copy of the drawer key was held by anyone else other than Sharmeela.

According to the Public Finance Act, money kept in an office on a temporary basis should only be kept in a safe, local media reported.


Young Indian teacher hospitalised in “very serious condition” after alleged rape

A young Indian teacher working on the island of Dhangethi in Alif Dhaal Atoll has been hospitalised after a group of people broke into her home on Sunday night and allegedly raped her.

The 25 year-old woman is in a “very serious condition” following the attack, said the Island Council President Azim Adam.

“They broke in [to her house] around 2:15am. I came to know about it at 4:00am and I instantly reported it to the police. The girl is now in the atoll hospital in a very serious condition,” Adam said.

A source close to the victim said she was in the hospital’s intensive care unit but was “bleeding uncontrollably.”

“We have put seven pints of blood into her but she is still bleeding. It is a very serious issue. We are planning to send her to India, there is not much more we are able to do here,” the source said, adding that her brother had arrived in the Maldives and was on the island.

The Indian High Commission in the capital Male’ said it had been informed of the incident and had received the woman’s details from the police.

Maldives Police Service (MPS) Spokesperson Sub Inspector Hassan Haneef said specialist teams were investigating the incident. He could not confirm whether any arrests had been made, but said further details would be released to the media at a later stage.

Local media reported that the woman was teaching a private computer course on the island.

Island Council President Adam said the young woman had been working on the island for less than a month, and described her as a “very kind person who was very friendly towards the local islanders”.

Dhangethi is the third largest populated island of Alif Dhaal Atoll, with a population of around 1200 people.

An official from the Indian High Commission noted that a similar case had occurred in 2011 involving an Indian nurse working on an island in the Maldives.

“I told the police that [in 2011] there was a rape case like this whereby a nurse was raped on one of the islands. However in that instance all of the suspects were later acquitted in court,” the official added.


Woman sentenced to one year for possession of 90 bottles of alcohol

The Criminal Court has sentenced a woman to one year in prison after she was arrested in 2009 with 90 bottles of vodka. Alcohol is banned on inhabited islands in the Maldives.

The court identified the woman as Niuma Abdulhannan of Maamigili in South Ari Atoll.

On May 12 in 2009, police were informed that illegal narcotics were being traded inside the Kerinlight house in the Maafannu ward of Male’. Police attended the house and searched the room in which Niuma was living, the Criminal Court said.

The Criminal Court said that during the search, police discovered 90 bottles of vodka hidden in different places around the room.

The court said that the bottles were confiscated and tested positive for alcohol. Niuma was not able to convince the court that the alcohol bottles were legally imported and possessed according to the Trade Ministry’s regulations on importing alcohol.

The Criminal Court said the judge found her guilty of importing an item on the list of contraband. As it was the first time she was found guilty of such a crime, she was sentenced to one year imprisonment.

Alcohol is not mentioned in the current Drug Act, and the only Act that currently prohibits alcohol is the Import-Export Act.


Four arrested for suspected involvement in illegal prostitution

Police have arrested two females and a male for alleged involvement in illegal prostitution inside a beauty salon in Addu City.

A police spokesperson confirmed that the three were arrested last night and that two females were from Thailand and the man was a Maldivian.

‘’They were arrested last night around 9:30pm during a special operation conducted following a report,’’ a police spokesperson said, confirming the arrests were made on Gan.

He declined to provide further information.

Local media reported that the owner of the beauty salon has also been arrested.

Addu Councilors Hussain Hilmee and Hussain Fahmy both said they did not have any additional information regarding the incident.

However, local media SunFM – which recently investigated illegal prostitution in the Maldives – reported that the three were arrested inside a salon in Addu while they were engaged in sexual activity.

The news outlet also reported that a 17 year-old girl was working as a receptionist at the salon.

Recently, the Maldives Media Council (MMC) called on the editors of Sun Online and Sun magazine to issue a public apology following the publication of a series of stories in which journalists wrote detailed and lurid accounts of their visit to an illegal brothel.

The Sun’s investigation of illegal prostitution in the Maldives revealed that ‘massage’ and medical treatment centers were being used a front for Male’s sex industry.

The Sun journalists who patronised the salons had ‘massages’ and reported that illegal prostitution was conducted widely and freely inside such places.

Some salons offered them group sex, while most provided a list of available girls with ‘special features’ for different prices.


Dhunya calls for investigation into death of woman who died after cesarean section

Leader of the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP)’s Women’s Wing, daughter of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom Dhunya Maumoon, has called on the authorities to investigate the death of a 36 year-old woman who died in Laamu Atoll regional Hospital this week after undergoing a cesarean section.

Speaking to the press yesterday, Dhunya said in other countries whenever such incidents occurred a maternal death audit was conducted. The Maldives also needed to introduce the maternal death auditing to prevent medical negligence, she said.

The 36 year-old woman admitted to Laamu Atoll Regional Hospital died after undergoing a cesarean last week.

Family members claimed the doctor mistakenly cut some veins during the operation, with local media reporting the woman subsequently received three pints of blood in an emergency transfusion.

After the cesarean, the hospital advised the family to take her to Male’ as soon as possible, but since the family was unable to catch a flight that night they waited for a Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) helicopter to arrive the following morning. The woman died later that evening, and the hospital has so fair declined to comment.

The woman had requested to undergo a C-section as she felt the baby was large, however the doctor declined until the last minute, the family told Haveeru.

Local media reported islanders as claiming that the doctor had not performed a cesarean operation before and conducted the operation watching a video of a cesarean operation. The baby survived the procedure and was in a stable condition.

Dhunya further alleged that as a consequence of the government’s decision to privatise hospitals, high prices had impacted the capability of ordinary citizens to receive services.

She also welcomed Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM)’s decision to organise a ‘sit-down’ near the tsunami monument, to raise awareness of the increase in inhumane and violent crimes committed in the Maldives today.

Dhunya called on the government to curb the increase in crimes committed against women.


Mother arrested for mistreatment of child

Police have arrested a woman who for alleged mistreatment of her four year old child in Kulhudhufuhsi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the woman had her child tied up with rope when police officers attended the house.

”Police went to her house after receiving information that this was happening,” said Shiyam. ”We conducted a special joint operation with the police and Ministry of Health and arrested the woman.”

He said that the father of the child was not at home when police arrived.

Local media has reported that the 24 year-old woman had been keeping the boy tied to a window in the house, and that there were bruises and scars on his leg.

After the police arrested the woman the boy was taken to Kulhudhufushi hospital.

In an unrelated case last Thursday, a newborn baby was found abandoned near the Wataniya telecommunications tower in Hulhumale’.

According to police, the baby girl was taken to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and her condition has since improved.

The umbilical cord was reportedly still attached to the child when she was discovered by members of the public.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the father of the child was at home when police arrived. This has been amended.


Kuredhoo staff allege female worker dismissed for wearing headscarf

Staff working at Kuredhoo Island Resort have alleged that the resort five months ago issued a notice stating that it would not be renewing the contracts of female staff members wearing the headscarf, and had since dismissed at least one staff member over the matter.

A staff member currently working at the resort told Minivan News that a notice regarding the matter was issued by the resort five months ago.

“There was a female staff member who wore the headscarf who was asked to leave her job two months ago because the resort’s management refused to renew her employment contract [because] she wears a headscarf,” he claimed.

A second staff member Minivan News spoke to also claimed the resort had notified staff that it would not renew the contracts of staff wearing the headscarf.

The allegation first appeared on the Dhivehi Post news blog, which quoted a female staff member at the resort as saying that elderly women living on a nearby island, employed by the resort for cleaning jobs, were issued the same notice.

Human Resources Manager at Kuredhoo Khadeeja Adam said she did not wish to comment on the matter and referred Minivan News to the resort’s General Manager.

Kuredhoo’s General Manager Andrea Nestle also refused to comment on the matter, but said the allegations she had read in her translation of the Dhivehi Post report were incorrect. She referred Minivan News to the head of Champa Trade and Travels in Male’, Abdulla Saleem.

Saleem told Minivan News that the resort policy was established by the resort’s management team, and said he had nothing to do with the policy.

”The management team works very independently and we have no influence on them,” he said.

Secretary General of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), Mohamed ‘Sim’ Ibrahim, told Minivan News that the issue was a “very sensitive” one, “because some [guests] get a bit taken aback. Some are a bit worried about it because they associate the dress with fundamentalism and militant Islam.”

“We don’t want to encourage people to wear the full burqa when they are serving tourists at the front desk, the first line of contact with guests,” he said.“But we don’t have a problem with them working in the office, or in general. It’s up to the resort owner.”

He noted that the right to wear the headscarf was a fundamental right, but that it was also a legal right for a resort to designate its own uniform and dress code.

The issue of discrimination, he noted, had led to “huge problems” in countries such as France.

A French law passed in 2004 banning the display of religious affiliation in schools, including dress and iconography, sparked protests across the Muslim world and also in countries such as the United States which expressed concern that the restrictions violated the France’s international human rights commitments.

In September 2010, the French Senate passed a bill 246 to 1 making it illegal to wear veils covering the face, with fines of €150 for women and €30,000 for men who forced their wives to do so, doubled in the case of minors.

Amnesty International condemned the French bill as a violation of freedom of expression.

“States have an obligation under international law to respect the human rights of everyone without discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status; to protect them against abuses of those rights by third parties, including by private actors within their families or communities; and to ensure they are able to exercise those rights in practice,” the international humanitarian organisation claimed.


Maldivian woman pleads not guilty to murder charges in fatal stabbing case

The Criminal Court has started the trial of Mariyam Nazaha, 21, of Henveiru Baikandige, less than 24 hours after she allegedly stabbed her ex-husband to death Tuesday afternoon.

State prosecutor Dheebaanaz Fahmy told the court that Nazaha bought a knife around two months ago and hid it in her bedroom to murder Hassan Shahid, 34, of Machangoalhi Edhuruge. She also said Nazaha had stabbed him in the back at her house while he was leaning towards a TV rack.

Shahid died while undergoing treatment for injuries sustained from the alleged attack, and murder charges should be laid against her, the prosecutor said.

When the judge asked whether she understood the charges, Nazaha replied “yes” but said she pleaded not guilty.

The prosecutor noted that the charges were based on Nazaha’s confession in the investigation and added that the police were collecting evidence. She sought a revision of the charges.

The defendant’s lawyer Ahmed Abdulla Afeef said he would respond to the charges after reviewing the documents.