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No more youth tagging, says home minister

Violent crime has swept the capital in recent months.



Youths will not be electronically tagged anymore as they are now responsible and decent, the Maldives home minister told state media Sunday, despite a violent crime wave in recent months.

Azleen Ahmed also told PSM that locking people up was not part of President Abdulla Yameen’s vision.

“The president’s work was saving youths from an environment of crime,” he said. “Giving more chances for those held for small crimes. Tagging and locking them behind bars is not the president’s ideology.

“This hinders the creativity of the youth. Now youths are responsible and decent.”

Monitoring and control orders allow police to electronically tag, conduct surveillance, and intercept the communication of people suspected of criminal activities. The police are also authorised to control their financial transactions.

The first ‘MoniCon’ order was granted in 2016, when Umar Naseer was home minister.

Azleen said the current administration had brought an end to torture behind bars and that convicts were  now allowed to earn, help their families and save for the future.

The government was making sure that youths contributed to society and was reforming them through education, jobs and short-term bank loans, he added.

But there have been violent assaults – and a murder – in recent months in the Greater Malé region as well as gang fights in the capital and in Laamu Gan.

On August 31 Ibrahim Agil was stabbed to death near the Maldives Monetary Authority building, a short distance from the police and military headquarters.

A 25-year-old man was stabbed eight times on August 7, while a 22-year-old man was stabbed in the head on August 3.

The first stabbing of the year happened under state care. Two students were attacked in January. Two teenagers were stabbed in March, while a policeman was stabbed the following month.

A 24-year old man was injured after being stabbed seven times in a knife attack in Hulhumalé on July 20 and, a day later,  a 29-year-old man was stabbed five times in Hulhumalé.

Days later, a 14-year-old boy was stabbed twice in the head and once in his leg in the capital.

Photo showing Ibrahim Agil murder scene from Avas