Man arrested for rape of 15-year-old girl jailed pending outcome of trial

Ibrahim Shafiu, 37, Feeroazge, F. Feeali. (Photo/Maldives Police Service)

The suspect arrested for the rape and impregnation of a 15-year-old girl who suffers a disability has been ordered to jail pending the outcome of his trial.

Ibrahim Shafiu, 37, from Feeroazge in F. Feeali was arrested under court order on Thursday.

He was brought before the F. Nilandhoo Magistrate Court for his remand hearing on Friday.

The court ordered that the suspect be held in a custodial jail pending the conclusion of the investigation, and in remand jail pending the outcome of the trial.

The court, in issuing the order, noted the fact that the suspected crime involves the sexual assault and rape of a child victim, and found that allowing the suspect free from custody may open room for destruction of evidence and victim intimidation, and expose the community to further danger.

Maldives Police Service, in a statement on Saturday morning, said the agency is working on completing the investigation and forwarding the case to the Prosecutor General’s office for criminal charges.

 The police said that they have noted an increase in cases involving child abuse and exploitation, include cases involving child victims who suffer from forms of disabilities.

The police have advised parents and guardians to increase their vigilance.

The police also urged the press to protect the dignity of children in reporting crimes which involve child victims.

Those with information regarding crimes against children have been urged to call the Maldives Police Service’s Family and Child Protection Wing at 3000600 or the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services hotline 1412.

The case is the latest in a string of crimes of sexual violence, often involving child victims.

Anti-rape protest in front of Gender Ministry headquarters on June 29, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The cases have sparked anti-rape rallies in the capital, Male’ City, calling for an end to sexual violence and culture of impunity.

More and more victims of sexual violence have been going public with their experiences, both at the rallies and on social media platforms.

Gender Minister Aishath Mohamed Didi, on Friday, pledged her commitment to driving systemic change in preventing sexual violence.

“To those voicing out concerns on the street, we hear you.  For far too long, the system has failed to protect our women and our children from sexual harassment and abuse,” wrote Aisha on her Facebook. “Reform is necessary, and it needs to happen fast; from social reform, to investigation, to prosecution and every step in between. I share your concerns, I am with you, #NoMeansNo.”