Safari Rape Case: PGO decides to absolve two suspects

Prosecutor General Shameem speaking at a press conference. | Photo: Mihaaru.

Male’, Maldives – The  Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has decided to absolve two suspects that were accused with Abdulla Shan over the sexual assault of a Kenyan woman on a boat docked at Hulhumale’ on June 26, 2020.

The Public Prosecutor of PGO and the Office media official of PGO, Ahmed Shafeeu informed local media “One” that the decision to absolve the two suspects was due to insufficient evidence to press charges against the two individuals.

On December 15, PGO informed that the Police has requested to prosecute three people who were related to the case and that they have decided to prosecute them after considering the evidences against them.

While PGO or the Police did not reveal the details of the suspects, PGO informed that Abdulla Shan was charged with sexual harassment and assault, as well as delivering threats and intimidation. 

Shan is presently married to parliamentary representative for Lhaviyani Atoll’s Hinnavaru Constituency Jeehan Mahmood. She also serves as the chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Gender Issues.

The ‘Safari Rape Case’ occurred in late June of 2020, where a Kenyan woman was sexually assaulted on board a safari which was docked in the lagoon of Hulhumale’. Although Maldives Police Service had arrested two 39 year old males from the crime scene, they were both released citing that there was no probable cause to keep the pair in custody. Police also refrained from revealing the names of those who were arrested saying that it cannot be revealed during the course of the investigation, despite having done so in similar cases previously.

Following this incident, public outrage sparked which later followed by news that one of the perpetrators was the husband of an MP, as well as a relative of the President, calling them “royal people.” With this, protestors took to the streets of Male’ calling for justice to be served and against impunity.

Furthermore, the Maldives Police Service had to face major public criticism after the lawyers of the victim who got sexually assaulted on a Safari docked in Hulhumale’ lagoon, shared a video of investigation officers mocking and talking about tempering the victim statement. However, they denied of any such wrong doing.