Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ibra's bill will not protect children

In 2006, a 16-year old girl from an island in south Maldives was brought to Male for an investigation concerning a dead newborn discovered there. Police and the child rights ministry sources revealed at the time that the child had been chronically abused by her own father, who made her pregnant and assisted in the killing of the infant. But after the investigation, the then child rights minister Aishath Mohamed Didi sent the girl back to her parents and, in affect, to her abuser. 

Child sexual abuse, under Maldivian law, required, and still does, a confession by the alleged abuser, or testimony by four witnesses, for a successful conviction to take place. This meant that if a child reports sexual abuse, the perpetrator denies it, and there are no witnesses, the court can find the child guilty of consent. Victims of child sexual abuse are therefore often punished for reporting the crime while the abuser is almost always let free.

Ibra's much heralded bill to criminalise paedophilia would not protect the vast majority of victims, because it does not propose changes to evidence laws. If the conviction of child sexual abusers is a near impossibility, what's the point of calling for harsher sentences for them? I understand that Ibra was advised by experts and concerned individuals about this, but chose to ignore the issue of evidence laws in his bill.

Child sexual abuse flourished in the Maldives in Gayoom's three decades of power, with presidential pardons granted habitually to the few that were convicted. A survey published a year before Gayoom was ousted revealed that one in six Maldivian women aged 15-49 years was sexually abused under 15 years of age. A UNICEF study published this year has found out that one in five school girls and one in ten school boys experience sexual abuse at least once in their lifetime. The present government is yet to publicly speak out against the the high levels of child sexual abuse in this country or state what it plans to do about it. 

Ibra's bill does not offer respite either. The seriously flawed bill was probably more politically motivated than the result of any genuine commitment to protecting Maldivian children from widespread sexual abuse. Note also that Ibra is proposing lowering the age of consent to 16 years, even though those under 18 years of age are regarded as minors under Maldivian law. This means the 16 year old girl from south Maldives would not not have got any protection from Ibra or Anni.

That girl, now legally of age, is reported to have had another illegitimate child and the state is considering flogging her as punishment.

Perhaps Aishath Mohamed Didi and her team should have a taste of the "durra", or the flogging baton, for failing to protect the young woman.


Anonymous said...

MV bloggers are just big mouths....

Anonymous said...

Ibra is all fart and no shit. He can delude people like you Anony but not all Maldivians. He is only concerned about power, not the children or people of Maldives.

Anonymous said...

Btw Anony 3:56, Ibra has a blog too on which he spreads his lies. So I guess you are right in that MV bloggers are just big mouths only. Welcome to the club.

Anonymous said...

Why Ibra is all fart and no shit:

Anonymous said...

You're right DCJ. Ibra didn't even get his party members' votes during the elections. I guess even his party members have finally seen through him. Don't vote for him to Parliament this time.

Will Jordan said...

It may well be cynical populism, but it gets the issue on the agenda, which in itself is a good thing. But you make a very good point about evidence.

Anonymous said...

What the FUCK?! And Aishath Mohamed Didi called herself the child rights minister?

Stupid maldivians! (I've grown tired of saying this phrase, but hey...what else can I say?)

Anonymous said...

Can some one direct me to the details on this bill exactly.

moyameehaa said...

uve said it all.... and it is not just the childabuse vitims. even rape victims are afraid to fight because of this crap. its a 1/99 chance for will also be social suicide and we all know the criminal gangs are above the law in maldives. so s/he will have no protection, will be flogged and banished (the islamic 'minister' will want to stone her to death) and then her family and society will abandon her. so she shut up. so now everyone is happy. rapist happy, ibra happy, anni happy. its a win win. except for the victim.

another thing is; people are sometimes falsely accused of rape and pedophilia. this has happened in maldives. the law need to protect these people too. then again.. this bill wont solve it either. coz a 17 year old girl who hates her 18 year old ex bf would probably get four witnesses if she wants him punished.

im dunno much about the laws, but are you saying even if there is forensic evidence they dont count it at all? not at any level? even if that is the case, there is no awareness and no facilities which would enable the victims to collect evidence when such a thing happens. for example in male' i heard the villyfulus near TS (is that place even there now?) is the palce we have to go in such a situation. are there healthcare professionals to take care of the victims. or do they always have atleast one female cop there? how many people know about these things?or more importantly, how many mps and aspirants even care about all this?

@annoyingmouse (3:56AM) hell yeah we are big mouths.and in a democracy big mouths are more important than silent annoyingmouses.looks like even you have some stuff to say.join the club, will ya?

Anonymous said...


I saw this on Hilath's blog.

"The progressive (Dr Hassan) Saeed also mentioned that he supports forensic evidence such as DNA testing but said that when he was Attorney General he met "strong opposition from Islamic scholars educated in the old ways."


There is no hope to change evidence laws as long as our justice system is infested by Mullahs.

Anonymous said...

Examine what Ibra says to the public and what he does in the Majlis carefully before you vote.
I think we must move on and elect more effective people.

Ibrahim Naeem said...

Its sad to see such ignorance, even in the 21st century. Pedophiles are born as pedophiles, they did not choose to be attracted to kids.
Nobody should be discriminated in any manner based their sexual orientation. Rather Bills need to be passed to protect pedophiles from discrimination in the society. Pedophilic-couples should be given the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Its inhumane to ask a human being to change their sexual preference and criminalize their in-born sexuality.
Stand up against; marginalization, criminalization and discrimination against Pedophiles.

Anonymous said...

Its inhuman to sexually abuse children. Pedophilia is not a choice i guess! Homo is, hetro is, but not pedophilia as it involves involunteree one person and that person is the kid and its a very in human act.
What if your 3yr old kid was torned by a 30 yr old man. ( i can't even imagine).. would you be okay with that...

The Shadowrunner said...

Baton?. BATON?

Only a 4000kg truck bomb can adequately punish that minister and her group.

Warm Pixels said...

1 - Evidence laws not in place and yet the Maldives Police is proud to state that they have the most advanced Forensic lab in South East Asia. (Statement by FCPU Official)

This is the total sum of police departments made completely useless by the lack of law.

> Forensic Department

* Administration Unit
* DNA Laboratory
* Scene of Crime Officers
* Chemical Analysis Unit
* Biological Analysis Unit
* Fingerprint Unit
* Physical Evidence Analysis Unit
* Computer Forensic Unit
* Photo & Videography Unit

( From

2 - @ Ibrahim Naeem: What do you suggest? A registry of pedophiles in the region, so as to protect them and the society from harm? This is what they do in the west.

It hasn't been decided yet that pedophilia is another form of sexuality. The definition of pedophilia currently stands as (from WHO's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems) a psychological disorder in which an adult experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children.

Think about that.

Anonymous said...

Ibra's bill is incomplete not just regards evidence, but also with regards reporting regulations, confidentiality protection security and therapy for victims, therapy for pedophiles depending on nature of abuse, laws regarding releasing pedophiles back into socieity, and rights of parents to know of convicted pedophiles. And im afraid this might not be all we need to be concerned about with regards child protection here.

And sure ibra's bill proposal might be politically motivated, but Any bill for the protection of children is better than None. But much lobbying needs to be done now to add to the bill.

Fali said...

Its ridiculous that islamic sharia is applied at all in child abuse cases when there is no crime as child abuse in the sharia. The concept of ziney is applied (modified as "gadhakamun" ziney kurun or badhuakhlaagee amalu hingun) just like in cases of rape, (which is another crime not covered in sharia) and two male witnesses and/or confession is required. The dynamics of child abuse is so different than ziney, so you cant apply concept of ziney to child abuse!!

As for the bill, yes its incomplete, but its a start. Yes its politically motivated but its an opportunity nontheless. I think the people who are working against child abuse should get hold of a copy of that bill, come up with essential aspects that need to be included in the Bill, meet with the committee who would review the bill, the Members, and basically anyone who has the authority and wage a massive campaign to get those things included in the bill!!

Anonymous said...

We are only kidding ourselves. Ibra proposed that half-hearted half-baked bill knowing full well Maldivian Mullahs will not allow the government to change evidence laws. When Ibra knows this full well, why get into this mess, if not for political attention-seeking. If any MP has good in his/her heart, he/she should be brave enough to first submit a bill proposing changes to evidence laws and be ready to fight these Mullahs on that issue. As long as Adaalath and Haabees live in Maldives, child abuse is going to continue. People need to openly stand up and fight against these closeted Mullah pedophiles.

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