Maldives woman kept confined in room for 12 years

June 23rd, 2008 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Male, June 23 (IANS) A 30-year-old Maldivian woman was kept confined in her room for 12 years by her family. She was discovered only last week after a complaint. The Gender Ministry is investigating the case reported on Kinbidhoo island of the Thaa atoll. The 30-year-old woman is the daughter of one of the Island Chiefs of Kinbidhoo, according to the Haveeru Daily.

Ministry officials observed that the room where she was kept hadn’t been cleaned for a long time and even her clothes were filthy. Her bed was covered with a sheet of linoleum, which was torn in several places.

Officials also noticed many unusual things about the way the family was keeping the woman. The paper said: “The room where she was kept was very dirty, filthy even, and untidy. She even has to go to the toilet in the room only. Some of the excrement found in the room must have been days old as it had dried up.”

During the investigation, the family told the investigators that the woman was “mentally unstable” and used to strip off her clothes in the presence of people.

Despite the family’s claim that they regularly cleaned the room where the woman was kept, the investigators found no evidence to match their statement.

Due to lack of space at the Family and Children’s Service Centre or the police station in Veymandoo, the woman is still in the family’s custody and has been ordered not to be kept confined in her room, the paper said.

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