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(Minivan News) — Local religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf has asked the authorities to enact legislation to make sorcery or black magic illegal in Maldives.

During a religious program broadcasted live on local radio SunFM last night, Salaf President Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed said the Anti-Sorcery Act is required to “protect the people from evils of sorcery”, and prosecute suspected sorcerers.

He requested President Mohamed Nasheed submit an Anti-Sorcery bill to make the practice illegal, while calling on the parliamentarians to pass the bill.

According to Salaf’s website, Mohamed urged the authorities to stipulate the death penalty in the law for convicted sorcerers.

Sheikh Mohamed’s remarks came following the brutal stabbing of 76 year-old Ali Hassan, on Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu atoll, which has been blamed on sorcery.

Mohamed was quoted in local newspaper Haveeru as claiming that many Maldivians have become victims of sorcery, and it has “ruined families”.