Dunya: A problem if children who commit crimes with deliberate intent cannot be punished

Dunya Maumoon.

Lack of punishment for children who commit crimes with deliberate intent is a problem, says Dunya Maumoon, who is contesting the South Hulhumale’ parliamentary seat as an independent candidate, adding that it is a matter that requires legal reform to fix.

The remark comes after a young boy was verbally and physically assaulted in the restroom of a mosque in AA. Rasdhoo last weekend – shining the spotlight on the seriousness of cases of bullying.

Dunya described the incident to Sun as “extremely violent” and said that she firmly believes such issues must be urgently addressed.

She said that it is a problem if children of an age where they are able to understand they are committing a crime cannot be punished for such acts.

She said that the laws must be revised to punish children who commit crimes with deliberate intent.

“I believe we need to make these changes. But I also believe this involves work that requires wisdom and deliberation,” she said.

“Perhaps administrations sometimes don’t take the best course of action in responding to unexpected incidents.”

Dunya said that the society, especially parents, have a crucial responsibility in preventing juvenile delinquency. She said that parents must teach their children right and wrong.

“To harm and bully other children… I am especially saddened that such as incident took place in a mosque while people were performing Tarawih on the 27th night of Ramadan. My hope is to eliminate such incidents from the Maldives. We must all work on these issues,” she said.

Dunya also stressed the need for greater effort to counter cases of grooming, crimes committed on children by adults and violence against women.

The police identified the culprits of the bullying case in Rasdhoo as a 13-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy.

The incident was recorded on a phone.

The disturbing video, which stops just short of two minutes, shows the bullies verbally abuse and repeatedly hit the victim. They also snatch a water bottle the boy is holding and pours the contents over his head. They also make him kneel down, as he pleads for them to stop.

On Saturday, Home Minister Ali Ihusan said the government plans on lowering the age of criminal responsibility in Maldives from 15 to 12 years.