Opposition calls on authorities to reveal identities of suspects in safari rape case

PNC leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla (L) with PPM deputy leader Ahmed Shiyam during a press conference held by the PPM-PNC coalition. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

The opposition coalition has called on the Maldivian authorities to release the identities of the suspects in the sexual assault of a women on board a safari off the coast of Hulhumale’ over the weekend.

The case was reported to the police at approximately 05:00 am on Friday.

The victim was identified as a woman of foreign nationality, while the suspects were identified as two Maldivian men of 39 years of age.

The two suspects were arrested from the safari boat where the sexual assault was reported to have taken place, but later released from custody citing “lack of sufficient grounds to keep them detained for the investigation”.

The opposition coalition, made up of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC), issued a statement on Saturday night condemning the crime.

The opposition said they do not accept the decision of the police to release the suspects from custody by claiming lack of sufficient grounds to keep them detained, given that the two suspects had been apprehended from the scene of the crime itself.

The opposition said that criminals who commit serious crimes such as rape are the vilest of criminals, and must be punished to the full extent of the law.

The law must be enforced irrespective of the family connections or status of those involved, said the opposition in its statement.

The opposition said that people who commit such inhumane and violent crimes must not be allowed to walk free within the community.

The opposition also expressed alarm over an increase in rape cases in the country, and called on all stakeholders including the government, the law enforcement agencies, the courts, and institutions that advocate the protection of rights to fulfill their responsibilities in order to stop such crimes.

“Therefore, this coalition calls on the President and relevant authorities to take action against the people responsible to the full extent of the law, and protect the rights of the victim of the sexual assault and find her justice, without discrimination or deception, and to reveal the truth of the people who carried out this horrendous crime to the Maldivian people,” said the opposition in its statement.