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Assault allegations against NGO boss branded ‘character assassination’

The Gender Ministry is investigating the NGO founder over domestic violence allegations.



The family of a women’s rights NGO founder has condemned allegations of domestic violence made against her, calling them an “attempt at character assassination.”

Gender Ministry sources last week confirmed to the Maldives Independent that Safaath Ahmed Zahir, founder of Women & Democracy, was being investigated over domestic abuse allegations against a family member following an anonymously filed complaint.

A family statement was posted on Twitter last Thursday by Shafaaf Ahmed, Safaath’s sister.

“We, our entire family, remain gutted and in shock with regards to the recent, baseless twitter allegations on Safaath.

“It is a known fact that public figures have become victims of slander at the hands of political opponents, journalists and sometimes even at the hands of the envious.”

The family “praised” that domestic violence could be reported anonymously but said “if such a complaint was made anonymously at the ministry, it was done with the attempt to assassinate Safaath’s character and destruct the important work that she is doing.”

Filing a false report and lying to the authorities was “a serious crime punishable by law,” the statement added.

Photo shows Women & Democracy workshop