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Calls to remove Maldives president over sorcery allegations

The allegations include the killing of animals and the uprooting of trees.



The opposition Adhaalath Party Saturday called for the Maldives president to be removed from office and investigated following sorcery allegations from his jailed former deputy.

Ahmed Adeeb last week published letters through his lawyer, alleging that President Abdulla Yameen was encouraged by a monk to take a number of steps to stay in power.

These included killing chickens, killing a crocodile, relocating monuments and uprooting trees.

Belief in sorcery and black magic, known locally as fanditha and sihuru, is common in the Maldives.

Fanditha is allowed for licensed parties under a 1978 law. Sihuru, enlisting demons to harm others, while not illegal is unauthorised and considered taboo.

In a statement the religious conservative AP called on authorities to investigate the sorcery allegations implicating Yameen.

“Performing sorcery, going to sorcerers to make them perform sorcery, acting on the sorcerer’s sorcery, believing in sorcery, and all related things are forbidden in Islam, and it is also a part of the seven major destructive sins,” the party said.

“We believe Abdulla Yameen should be impeached… if the allegations against him are proven to be true. Until he repents and announces it publicly, he should not be given a chance to run for any elected position.”

Participating in sorcery is a crime punishable by flogging, the party said, adding that Yameen would be disqualified from contesting the presidency if the crime was proven.

It called on police to complete the investigation and make the findings public before a presidential election which is due to be held on September 23.

Adeeb, who is serving 33-years in prison for charges including terrorism, said Yameen had met a sorcerer during the 2013 presidential election.

The President’s Office said it would not comment on allegations made by a “serious convict who is currently serving a jail sentence.”

There has been a spike in sorcery-related incidents ahead of the election, with four arrested from Kulhudhuffushi island in August.

Sihuru-related arrests have been common in recent years, but suspects are often released without charge due to the complexity of legal action.