Police are investigating a death threat against a woman for not wearing hijab, it was confirmed Sunday, with a spokesman saying the complaint was about a taxi driver.
In a Twitter post, a witness to the alleged incident reported that the driver had overtaken a motorbike driven by a woman before threatening her.
“After coming close to the motorbike that she was on he said “[will] kill you. You can’t be [on the streets] without wearing a hijab”. A collision [between the taxi and the motorbike] was prevented because of two men on the road,”
“In front of police, he said that he will end her life if she came in front of him,” the witness said on Facebook.
In a tweet the woman who was threatened said that the taxi driver produced a police identity card.
“You can’t do whatever you want, this is our government. [We will] kill you if you live like this without wearing the hijab. I am here to kill you,” the man said before showing the card.
The police spokesman refused to comment on whether the taxi driver was a policeman, saying it was an ongoing investigation.
Although photos on social media showed a man being handcuffed on the scene, police refused to confirm if an arrest had been made over the death threat.
Newspaper Mihaaru reported the taxi driver was released shortly after he was arrested.
MP Eva Abdulla, one of five female lawmakers in the Maldives’ 85-member parliament, condemned the threat as well as the official response to it.
“When police make public the details of any political figure, accused of any absurd charges, I want to know the details of this taxi driver who issued death threats to a woman for not “covering” herself. This is a safety issue; risks safety of many women,” she tweeted.
The death threat follows former president Mohamed Nasheed calling on politicians to ensure young people were allowed the freedom to choose how they lived.
He said that one of the Maldivian Democratic Party’s manifesto aims must be to build an environment that had space for everyone. “Finding a land where girls wearing the hijab and girls who don’t are allowed to live happily and safely,” he said.