Ibthihaal’s Murder: Mother sentenced 20 years in jail

Afiya Mohamed Manik handcuffed in the Criminal Court. | Photo: Mihaaru

Male’, Maldives – The Criminal Court has sentenced Afiya Mohamed Manik to 20 years in jail for murdering her own three year old son, Mohamed Ibthihaal.

On Monday, the Criminal Court issued its final verdict in the murder case, where Afiya was found guilty for both deliberate murder and disobedience. This is why the court has sentenced Afiya to 20 years in jail along with fasting for 20 consecutive days.

Afiya had initially confessed to the murder of her son on August 2015 and 2016 at the court and said that she strangled Ibthihaal to death, however, she revoked her confession during a hearing on October 2019 and stated that she was not at home when Ibthihaal was murdered and that she was forced to confess otherwise under duress.

However, on Monday’s session, Aafiya confessed to her crimes and accepted the accused charges against her in the presence of a lawyer. The presiding Judge, Mohamed Sameer informed that the confession was with her own will and without any coercion.

The judge informed that Asiya had also demonstrated the physical abuse she caused to Ibthihaal on a plastic figure and along with this she even recounted a 14-page statement detailing the abuse she had caused to Ibthihaal before she strangled him while fully confessing that she did beat and strangle Ibthihaal to death.

In addition to this, the judge also informed that Afiya admitted that she did beat the toddler out of anger while intending to kill him on several occasions before she murdered him.

While Afiya herself was a victim of severe abuse such as sexual assault from her stepfather, it was said that she had severe depression and high levels of anxiety “triggered by the smallest things” for a period of time.

This is why, Afiya was consulted by a mental health expert Dr. Aishath Ali Naaz to test whether the murder of her son was due to a mental disorder. However, the doctor informed that no mental disorders were observed during the tests although fits of uncontrollable anger was noted.

Hence, Dr. Naaz testified during the court hearing the Afiya was in a sound state of mind when she murdred her son Ibthihaal in 2015.

Considering all the evidences that were against Afiya along with her own confession to the murder, the court decided to sentence Afiya 20 years in prison although she stood to face a 10-year jail term at first.

While the court could have announced capital punishment against Afiya, the decision could not be taken as the Islamic laws are against punishing parents with death for the murder of their children.

On January 2015, Ibthihaal was found beaten to death in his home in Rakeedhoo island of Vaavu atoll which had raised an outrage in the country as an innocent three year old boy was murdered by his own mother.