The education ministry has distanced itself from its anti-bullying ambassador after allegations of sexual harassment and blackmail.
Several women publicly accused 21-year-old Aalif Naseer – a video blogger who describes himself as “the Maldivian YouTuber” – following his appointment as the first anti-bullying ambassador on February 13.
A ministry official confirmed to the media that Naseer was no longer the ambassador. But it was unclear whether he resigned or was sacked, Mihaaru reported on Sunday.
The ambassador’s role had been conducting activities with the education ministry after an anti-bullying policy for schools was launched last month.
Naseer was alleged to have harassed girls and asked them for compromising photos, according to the young women who accused him. In some instances, he tried to use photos for blackmail and extortion, they said.
Naseer admitted to having “made mistakes” after the allegations surfaced on social media.
When the allegations were brought to her attention, Education Minister Dr Aishath Ali said Naseer had been made an anti-bullying ambassador “on the recommendation of a trusted staff” after a background check found no cause for concern.
She later tweeted: “[Ministry of education] has always had zero tolerance for sexual harassment and this policy will be upheld at all times. A pristine reputation untarnished by lewd allegations and accusations is essential for the ambassador’s position and profile. I will do what is necessary.”
Since then, telecom service provider Dhiraagu has removed a video made in collaboration with Naseer and several local businesses such as Lecute and Lotus Fihaara have stopped working with him.