Police: Shahindha had already left Maldives by the time MDN report came to light

Shahindha Ismail: Executive Director of Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN).

Police say the head of Maldives Democracy Network (MDN), Shahindha Ismail had already left Maldives by the time the NGO’s controversial 2016 report ‘Preliminary Assessment on Radicalization in Maldives’ came to its attention.

MDN’s report had sparked nation-wide outrage after several segments of the report was found to mock the Holy Quran, the Prophet, and the Islamic faith itself. It led to calls for the arrest of senior MDN officials and a criminal investigation into them. Meanwhile, Shahindha, the head of MDN, was rumored to have fled Maldives.

The police say that Shahindha had already left Maldives by the time the report came to its attention.

She is said to be living in Germany.

The license issued to MDN to operate as a non-governmental organization was suspended by the Youth Ministry on Thursday, October 10.

According to the Youth Ministry, MDN has been ordered to suspend all its activities due to the ongoing criminal investigation into its report.

MDN’s report contained derogatory terms used to describe the Prophet. It also questioned the credibility core Islamic values and the credibility of Al Isra' wal Miraj – the Prophet’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven.

MDN’s report has been unanimously condemned by the Maldivian Parliament, and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has promised to take action against people who openly mock the Islamic faith.

Meanwhile, opposition parties PPM and PNC have called on the Maldivian administration for action against MDN officials, and for the immediate dismissal of former MDN officials who currently hold state and government posts. Opposition leader, former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has stated that the current Maldivian administration “doesn’t have the guts” to take action against MDN officials.