Was working on obtaining order to impose travel ban when suspect fled: Police

The man who posted tweets insulting Allah and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) left the country while the police were investigating the case and working on taking necessary action, Maldives Police Service has said.

A Maldivian man created a pseudo Twitter account which he used to post blasphemous content that insulted Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the Holy Quran. The public exposed the man behind the account, identifying him as Hussain Shaihan from Addu City. His place of work, whereabouts, and activities were also publicized by those who exposed him.

When the police were repeatedly asked regarding Shaihan, they said they were aware that the account had been deactivated and that they were investigating the matter.

During a press conference held Monday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz was asked regarding the matter. In his answer, ACP Riyaz said the police were working on imposing a travel ban on Shaihan when he left the country. When asked why a court order could not be obtained in time to stop Shaihan from fleeing, ACP Riyaz said obtaining such an order was not as easy as some people thought it was and that it required time. He further said the suspect left the country while an investigation was already launched, and assured that it would continue even if the suspect had left the country. He further assured that the case would not end at this point.

"The accused in the case is not acquitted of the charges. The law will be enforced. We will do whatever it necessary to find him," he said.

Acts of blasphemy against Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have increased. Many believe that the authorities have failed to take action in such cases. They believe failing to take immediate action in such cases gives opportunities to extremist secularists who carry out such activities.