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Family demands death penalty
by Adam Haleem
Haveeru, 27 January 2002

translated by Maldives Culture editors

Azleena, murdered

Today the family of murdered woman Azleena Nafees asked for the death penalty for her murderers.

Azleena, aged 27, was murdered in a toilet in the administration building of the Traders' Association in Malé during the afternoon 5th April 2001. At the time she was working there as an administrative secretary. Three men admitted to the murder during the investigation. They are Abdullah Zuhairu who was employed as an office assistant at the Association, and two of Zuhair's associates, Abdullah Ismail and Ibrahim Hamdhee. These men were present, along with the victim's family, at the Criminal Court today.

Abdullah Zuhair self-confessed murderer
Abdullah Zuhair
self-confessed murderer

The family members were Azleena's mother Aishath Najeeba, aged 60, and Azleena's three sisters Mariyam Shiyam aged 34, Mariyam Nazima aged 29, and Aminath Nafees aged 33. Also present were the victim's two brothers Abbas Nafees aged 42, and Ahmed Shareef Nafees aged 35.

Maldives Ibrahim Hamdhee
Ibrahim Hamdhee, convicted of murder, claims he is innocent

The Chief Magistrate had stated that the court wished to hear the family's wishes concerning the sentence in this case; whether they wanted the death penalty or compensation for the murder. Given the opportunity by the Chief Magistrate to express their preference to the court, all the family members, with the exception of Ahmed Shareef Nafees, demanded the penalty of death.

Abdullah Ismail
Abdullah Ismail,
convicted of murder, claims he is innocent

Shareef said he would need more detailed information from the court before he could make up his mind. The magistrate told him to ask the court in writing for the specific details he wanted.

The family were sitting in a row of seats behind Zuhair, who was handcuffed. Mariyam Shiyana was the first to demand the death penalty and when she spoke to the court, Zuhair smiled and she lost her temper. The relatives had to restrain her. 'And he's still smiling!' she said.

The mother and sisters appeared sad and aggrieved. It was apparent they all found it extremely difficult to speak in court. This was the first time Azleena's family had seen the three people who brutally murdered her.

Zuhair has admitted to the murder of Azleena in court, but the other two men are continuing to vehemently deny their involvement. These two men were quiet during today's court session.


self-confessed murderer Abdullah Zuhair
Zuhair claims he acted alone in killing Azleena

MaldivesCulture is an independent internet magazine of Maldivian cultural issues.
Editors and translators: Michael O'Shea and Fareesha Abdulla, Australia
We invite contributions from Maldivians and others interested in Maldives.
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