A policeman is under investigation over the online sexual harassment of a popular 16-year-old female singer.
The officer from the police special constabulary shared Bathool Ahmed’s photo on Facebook and compared the minor to a Lebanese-American porn star.
A screenshot of the policeman’s comments posted on Twitter by Bathool went viral.
A police spokeswoman told the Maldives Independent that an internal probe is ongoing but could not confirm whether any disciplinary action has been taken against the officer.
A recently enacted disciplinary regulation specifies measures to be taken against police officers who make derogatory comments on social media, including suspension, demotion and dismissal.
They say they are here to protect and serve but little do they know when they are harassing an underage girl. Disgusting and unethical. pic.twitter.com/WvCO49TByY
— ☾ (@BathoolAhmed) March 4, 2017
@BathoolAhmed Thank you for your tweet, we are taking your complaint very seriously and are investigating on the concern raised.
— Maldives Police (@PoliceMv) March 4, 2017
The Twitter post sparked widespread outrage and calls for the officer to be immediately suspended.
“So these are the people that would investigate the recent rape case?” one user asked.
The police officer meanwhile went on to defend his actions, suggesting that the singer should “face celebrity life”.
“The dude is super proud of himself too. A shame for the police officers who actually do their job!! I’m disgusted!” Bathool tweeted in response.
Cyber harassment of women and girls is common in the Maldives.
In 2014, a man was arrested for posting nude pictures of Maldivian women online. A policeman was also arrested in 2011 on a charge of blackmailing a woman in a northern island by doctoring a nude photo.
In late February, two police officers were sacked after their nude photos and video were leaked.
Photo by Mohamed Afrah.