Vigilante justice at Kaafu Dhiffushi has stirred an uproar among the public as it sets a dangerous precedent.
A video had been circulated on social media of the recent event that unfolded at K. Dhiffushi last Thursday when an angry mob of locals attacked 35-year-old Mohamed Shiham after they had accused him of molesting a 14-year-old girl without concrete evidence.
Shiham gave a tearful account that the group had accused him of molesting a girl and that he had downright denied the accusations. He claimed that they would not listen and were stubborn with their accusations, saying that the girl herself had said that Shiham had molested her. Moreover, the angry mob had dragged him out of the store violently and started relentlessly beating him, according to Shiham who is now hospitalised and being treated for his injuries.
Furthermore, he said that the mob had him surrounded and that they kept on beating him even when he was taken to the hospital. Shiham said that the crowd demanded that he confess to the molestation and when he refused, they threatened to kill him. Shiham claimed that authorities and even the Maldives Police Service allowed the crowd to take him out of the facility and continue attacking him. Shiham accused that police officers were also present at the scene and that a sergeant-ranked officer had verbally abused him and threatened to bodily harm him.
The mob attack against Shiham sparked violence on the island and the angry crowd was only controlled after more police officers were dispatched from Male’. However, during the confrontation, a police officer was also injured and a 22-year-old was arrested for attacking the officer during the incident.
Shiham had been visiting the island with his wife and children for the eid holidays when the incident happened. Police have remained silent over the molestation accusations against Shiham but confirmed they have received evidence that the girl had been molested but did not specify whether it was from Shiham.
Vigilante justice has always been unlawful in many countries and the reality remains that such incidents sets a dangerous precedence.