Rehabilitation is the solution for juvenile offenders: Shameem

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has said the solution for juvenile offenders is rehabilitation.

He made the statement in response to a video of two teenagers bullying and beating a minor at AA. Rasdhoo, who had attended for a Tarawih prayer on Friday evening.

In the video, two teenagers verbally abused a minor and beaten him non-stop before pouring the water on his head.

After the video caught public and media attention, it was reported a special team from Maldives Police Service was dispatched to Rasdhoo to investigate the case.

In his response to the incident, Shameem said juvenile offenders can most efficiently be reformed through rehabilitation, and said Maldives has trained professionals to tackle the issue.

Shameem further argued state-initiated rehabilitation programs for juvenile offenders can be an effective countermeasure.

While highlighting the legal age of criminal culpability is 15 years, Shameem said that offenders below this age should not be treated with impunity. He further said a functioning system effectively dealing with minor offenders exist in the Maldives.

"We all make mistakes during childhood, but if we were punished and jailed for our past mistakes, we would not have people advocating on these matters today," Shaheem said in a social media post.

PG also said that globally juveniles are rather rehabilitated than incarcerated for their offenses, and argued lowering the age of criminal culpability was not the solution either.

He argued that incarcerating minors for their offenses would create a generation of criminals, who would not see the need to reform. Shameem said such individuals would not hesitate to advance as career criminals.