Minister arrested for ‘using black magic’ on Maldives president

Fathimath Shamnaz Ali Saleem, the state minister for environment, climate change, and energy, was arrested on Sunday along with two others in Malé, police said Thursday (June 27).

She has been put on a seven-day remand pending further investigations.Police have not disclosed the reason for arrest but have not denied local media reports claiming that the charge was using black magic, reports India Today.

Muslim-majority Maldives is on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Challenges such as rising sea levels threaten its habitability by the end of the century

Despite sorcery not being a criminal offence under the national penal code, it can result in a six-month jail sentence under Islamic law.Traditional ceremonies are widely practiced across the archipelago, believed by many to influence favours or curse opponents.

A 62-year-old woman was murdered in April 2023 by three neighbours on Manadhoo, who accused her of using black magic. A police investigation found no evidence supporting the claims.

The Maldives has a history of incidents involving alleged black magic. In 2012, police disrupted an opposition political rally, accusing the organisers of throwing a “cursed rooster” at officers during a raid

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