Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) confirmed on Tuesday that an investigation has been launched into a case of abuse involving an 11-year-old deaf boy at Maroshi, Raa Atoll.
Local media outlet Adhadhu quoted the boy’s father Ahmed Waseem, stating that the boy was the victim of bullying and abuse for approximately two years.
“When [the victim] goes to the playground, they [abusers] light a stick and put it on his neck. Sometimes we come to know over seven days after the incident took place at the playground or park, and after we find marks on his body indicative of beating or physical torment”.
Speaking to Adhadhu, Waseem detailed that he approached the school and island council on multiple occasions, and had also reported the incident to Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services and HRCM.
“He[the victim] also has feelings, just like any other child. We have asked [authorities]to intervene and advise the kids who are attacking him. No one deserves to be abused, and if they[other children] are made aware, they wouldn’t do it. But the issue has not been resolved.”
The boy’s parents further claimed that the school did not facilitate their child’s education and as a result, the child currently refuses to attend school.
“[he] no longer wants to go to school. When asked for a reason, he answered that the teachers do not explain in such a way that allows him to understand.”
“The school said that they are unable to teach him as they do not have masks [transparent]. As he is unable to listen to the teacher, his comprehension depends on lip-reading.”
Local media reports have also revealed that both the island council and school have denied that the case was brought to their attention, although the school admitted to noting some difficulty in teaching the particular student due to masks being mandatory for teachers following the pandemic.
Times of Addu reached out to HRCM for more information and a media official confirmed that the case was under investigation and therefore details were limited. However, they added that while the probe was initiated by HRCM on June 20, 2021, the incident was reported to them after said date.
HRCM declined to comment when the question was raised as to whether this case was reported via the family or external sources, stating that the particulars cannot be revealed while the investigation was still ongoing.