Malé, Maldives – After the former Tourism Minister of Maldives, Ali Waheed who faces multiple charges of sexual offenses fled from the country, female members of the Parliament have sent a letter to Former President and current Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed urging an investigation.
The letter was sent by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Eva Abdulla, Member of Parliament for Thulhadhoo Constituency Hisaan Hussain, Member of Parliament for Hinnavaru Constituency Jeehan Mahmood and Member of Parliament for Addu Meedhoo Constituency Rozaina Adam.
In their letter, the MPs stated that it is extremely worrying that an individual that faces multiple serious sexual crime allegations was easily allowed to leave the country, adding that they believe that this would add to the suffering of the victims.
They asked to clarify the steps the Prosecutor General has taken to start hearings on this case, and asked what amendments need to be made to laws to prevent a repeat of such a event, requesting to take any steps needed to implement these changes.
The letter ended with a request to send the issue to the Parliamentary Judiciary Committee.
It is noteworthy that an MP involved in submitting this letter, Jeehan – who also serves as the chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Gender Issues, is the wife of Abdulla Shan, who was charged with sexual harassment and assault, as well as delivering threats and intimidation in the high profile Safari rape case.
Despite the three charges raised against Shan, the cases of two additional individuals that the police sought charges against were sent back. The PG Office maintained that there was insufficient evidence to press charges against the two individuals.
Sources have revealed that Waheed flew to London on the 9th of February via a Turkish Airline flight as soon as his passport was released by the court. In the hearing that was held yesterday at the Criminal Court, Waheed’s defence presented his doctor to the court to inform that several disks in his backbone are damaged.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ordered Waheed’s resignation on 8 July 2020, following complaints regarding incidents of misconduct within the tourism ministry, which were lodged by the ministry staff at the President’s Office and the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services.
Waheed was fired on 9 July 2020, marking the first time a cabinet minister was fired over allegations of sexual abuse after he failed to tender his resignation as per the order.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, a total of seven counts of sexual offences were filed as six cases against the former Minister at the Criminal Court of the Maldives. These being;
- One count of sexual abuse under article 16 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
- One count of attempted rape under article 15 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
- One count of indecent exposure under article 132 of The Constitution of Maldives
- One count of sexual harassment under article 18 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
- One count of attempted sexual abuse under article 19 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
- Two counts of unlawful sexual contact under article 81 and 412 of The Constitution of Maldives.
In addition to the sexual harassment case, Ali Waheed is also under investigation by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) regarding eight different issues which were highlighted in the compliance report published by the Auditor General’s Office, concerning the expenses made by the Ministry of Tourism with regards to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Till date, Ali Waheed has denied all the charges that were raised against him. However, if he is found guilty of the charges levied against him, Waheed will face up to 21 years imprisonment.