State decides against prosecuting ex-Gender Minister Zenysha in 2017 torture case

Then-Minister of Gender and Family, Aminath Zenysha Shahid Zaki speaks during the seminar for Filipino workers on October 27, 2018. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Prosecutor General’s Office has decided not to pursue charges against then-Gender Minister Aminath Zenysha Shaheed Zaki in a case involving torture of a group of children who lived at Kudakudhinge Hiyaa – a shelter located in suburban Vilimale’ - during a camp held in K. Thulusdhoo in 2017.   

Prosecutor General’s Office said on Thursday morning that it decided not to pursue charges against Zenysha due to lack of sufficient evidence to prove the charges against her at court. 

The decision comes after Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed publicly defended Zenysha.  

Nasheed said that he does not see how prosecuting Zenysha could benefit society, and does not believe it wise to pursue charges. 

In an earlier statement denying the allegations, Zenysha said that the case against her was borne out of personal vendetta, and that she never committed or was involved in a criminal act. 

Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) had requested charges against Zenysha and multiple police officers following an investigation into a case involving the abuse of a group of children above the age of 12 years who were taken to a camp in Thulusdhoo organized by Maldives Police Service and Gender Ministry which was held from April 20-22, 2017.  

The police officers involved are accused of handcuffing the children to control them on the ferry on the way to Thulusdhoo, and subjecting them to verbal and physical abuse. 

The decision not to pursue charges against Zenysha follows similar decisions regarding then-head of the Family and Child Protection Unit, Chief Superintendent Mohamed Basheer and two other police officers. 

Meanwhile, 13 low-ranking police officers have been charged in the case.  

A credible source told Sun the officers were charged with cruel, degrading or inhumane treatment under the Anti-Torture Act. 

The police officers in question are: 

  • Fathimath Shirufa (Service Number 5156) 
  • Afsana Abdul Wahhab (Service Number 3714) 
  • Aishath Amsoodha (Service Number 3369) 
  • Adil Ali (Service Number 2763) 
  • Ikleel Jawad (Service Number 4141) 
  • Shanaz Ahmed (Service Number 1864) 
  • Hassan Nafiu (Service Number 4442) 
  • Adam Naseem (Service Number 2083) 
  • Sam Umar (Service Number 2590) 
  • Ahmed Mamnoon Ali (Service Number 3594) 
  • Ismail Rafeeu (Service Number 1676) 
  • Hassan Rilwan (Service Number 1908) 
  • Abdul Baaree Ahmed (Service Number 3600) 

They face 1-3 years in prison if found guilty.