Rusthum sentenced to jail for mocking Islam, but released from custody

Mohamed Rusthum Mujtaba, sentenced to four months in jail, but released for time served | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – Mohamed Rusthum Mujtaba, accused of mocking Islam was sentenced to four months in prison today.

However, Rusthum was released for time served as the duration he spent in custody exceeded period of the prison sentence.

Rusthum was charged with disruption of religious unity and possessing nude images, both to which he pled guilty. As per the Maldivian laws, the punishment for the first charge is four months and 24 days in jail. However, this period is minimised to three months and 18 days with a guilty plea. The penalty for possessing nude images is one month and six days in jail. However, this too gets decreased to a 27 day jail sentence with a guilty plea. Further technicalities of punishing an individual for more than one crime, decrease this duration to 13 days for Rusthum, the state said.

The state did not request to increase any of these durations, and Rusthum had nothing further to say about the sentence in court.

As such, he was convicted of the charges raised against him and given a four month jail sentence. However, given that he spent six months in custody, his sentence is deemed served and Rusthum is now a free man.