Crime Legal Society & Culture

NGO boss questioned over ‘anti-Islamic’ tweet

The executive director of NGO Maldivian Democracy Network was questioned at the police headquarters Monday over an “anti-Islamic” tweet posted in December.

Shahindha Ismail is accused of disrupting religious unity for saying that Allah allowed for other religions, which came in response to vows in a speech by President Abdulla Yameen to ensure that Islam remains the only religion permitted in the Maldives.

Dismissing the blasphemy charge, Shahindha told the Maldives Independent: “I have never criticised Islam with the intention of causing disregard for Islam.” 

She was placed under investigation under section 617 of the penal code, which prohibits “religious oration and criticism of Islam in public or in a public medium with the intention to cause disregard to Islam.”

The offence is a class one misdemeanour and carries a jail term of up to four months and 24 days.

Shahindha said she has reported threats made against her and asked the police to investigate an article from a pro-government website that singled out her tweet.

A police spokesman was unable to provide an update on the investigation into her complaints.

Accusations from Vaguthu of calling for secularism or religious freedom were followed by condemnatory statements from ruling party lawmakers, the Islamic ministry and threats of assault from extremists.

According to police, liberal blogger Yameen Rasheed was murdered in April last year by a radicalised group of young men who believed he was guilty of insulting Islam.

Full details are available at the link below:

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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