President ratifies key amendment, declaring rape and sexual abuse of children as major felonies

Protesters hold an anti-rape rally in Male' City on June 29, 2020. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Tuesday ratified an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code, allowing for rape and sexual crimes against children to be declared major felonies.

With the amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code, there are now 12 crimes declared under Article 22 of the Criminal Procedure Code as major felonies, including homicide, rape, sexual abuse of children, terrorism, financing terrorism, money laundering, human trafficking, and drug trafficking.

The amendment will also allow for law enforcement agencies to monitor personal communications of suspected child sex offenders under a court warrant.

The amendment was passed by the Parliament on September 6.

According to the government, which drafted the legislature, it is designed to address obstacles that prevent the effective enforcement of the Criminal Procedure Act by adding additional enforcement mechanisms to the main Act.

Upon ratification, the amendments has now been published in the Government Gazette.