The deputy elections chief insisted on sleeping in the same room as two female employees during a work trip to Afghanistan saying he was scared, as a second complaint of sexual harassment against him emerged.
The complaint, filed on October 12, 2017, was taken in the presence of three members of the Elections Commission’s harassment committee. It concerns Amjad Musthafa, who is the subject of a police investigation after being accused of sexual harassment.
Musthafa would have been in Kabul late September for a meeting of regional election bodies. He was the chairman of the FEMBOSA conference.
“The first night, while we were near the VP’s [Musthafa’s] room to write the opening speech, VP said he saw a shadow near the other door,” reads the complaint, a copy of which has been seen by the Maldives Independent. “Then he said he was afraid to sleep alone that night.
“When Ana* and I were going to go to our room to sleep, he said no and tried to follow us. VP said Ana and I could sleep on the bed, he could sleep on the floor. The night before we had not slept at all, so I fell asleep as soon as I lay down. Ana woke up and said VP fell asleep before she did, but she kept waking up every now and then because we shouldn’t trust anyone.”
It happened again on the second night, and the employee said both women felt discomfort and that they had to sleep with headscarves on.
Ana attempted to give Musthafa the keys to her room so he could sleep there and she could share with the other girl, but he relented on the third night.
“And I don’t think that’s how a commission’s VP’s behaviour should be in front of staff. Wearing short shorts like that, I am not at all okay with it,” the complaint reads.
“And Ana said one night that she saw things she shouldn’t have seen while he was sitting on the sofa with his legs up, she said she knew that was deliberate, that I might not know his ways because I am new.”
The employee resigned shortly after submitting the complaint, EC employees told the Maldives Independent.
Khadheeja Rasha, a committee member who signed the document, refused to say if any harassment cases had been lodged against Musthafa.
“We cannot give out that information, it is a secret,” she said.
EC member and spokesman Ahmed Akram said he was not aware that a harassment complaint had been filed in the past two years.
“I have not heard about any complaints, I’ve only see this in the story published by Maldives Independent. I am currently out of the country on holiday, I picked up because I thought it would be an election related question,” he said on Monday.
“I’ve only seen this in MI, is this only something that MI knows? I can check this when I am back in Malé two days from now.”
Akram had been a member of the EC at the time of the complaint. EC president Ahmed Shareef was made commissioner in March.
Musthafa has not responded to repeated inquiries by the Maldives Independent regarding the complaint.
He was not responding to calls via Whatsapp at 16:30 on Monday. He requested to send questions via text. Questions were sent via Whatsapp message at 17:15 and emailed at 17:53. He was not answering calls at the time of publication.
*Names have been changed
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