Male’, Maldives: Maldives Police confirmed late Saturday that a woman was found murdered in a residence located in the Henveiru ward of Male’ City.
The victim was identified as Shiau Mohamed Saeed, a 22-year old Maldivian female from Fuvahmulah City.
Police have since arrested a 23-year-old Maldivian male, Ali Shaahil, in connection to the murder. He is being kept in custody, with charges yet to be filed.
While local media have reported that the woman was decapitated and her limbs mutilated, authorities have not released any information supporting such allegations.
News of the crime has prompted a number of responses across the country, with locals taking to social media platforms to express their shock and grief. A number of social issue advocates have also spoken up in connection to the issue, placing blame squarely on the government’s shoulders over inaction on past crimes involving gender-based violence (GBV) and over impunity for offenders.
The Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services has not, at the time of publishing, made any statement about the crime. However, in a recent tweet published by the ministry, it was reported that in June 2022, the Gender Ministry had “received and attended to” 39 GBV cases reported by women – 22 of which involved physical abuse – and zero cases by men.
Commonly known statistics publicized in the Maldives on VAW suggest that 1 in every 3 women aged 18-59 may have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence. To find more information on recognizing abuse and reporting violence, Maldivians can reach out to the hotline (1421) for reporting Domestic Violence and Gender-Based Violence funded by UNICEF and managed by the Ministry of Gender.