Male’, Maldives – The High Court of Maldives has ordered Ibrahim Shah to be jailed for three years for raping his wife, late Ziyadha Naeem, who passed away while seeking treatment for her injuries.
Shah was first charged with three charges, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and marital rape. After that, the state also charged him with possession of pornographic images. While his trial began in August of 2016, he was declared not guilty of all four charges by the Criminal Court of Maldives, during March of 2019.
However, the state appealed the verdict at the High Court of Maldives, during April of last year, and Shah was found guilty for the rape of Ziyadha. A verdict is yet to be declared for the remaining charges.
Ziyadha passed away on 28th of December 2015, while seeking treatment for injuries she sustained after Shah raped her. According to information released by Maldives Police Service in 2016, the doctors reported that Shah physically and sexually abused Ziyadha while they were separate and after getting raped, her health started deteriorating due to which she consulted Dr. Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital in Gdh. Thinadhoo on two ocassions. According to postmortem reports, Ziyadha’s body sustained multiple injuries as a result of the abuse.
Ziyadha’s body was buried in Aasahara Cemetery on 6th January, 2016 after the afternoon prayers.
This verdict, a first of its kind, is a huge win for the women’s rights of the country as well as the safety of women and children. Although by law, marital rape is illegal in the country, this is the first time a verdict has been declared for the crime.