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Maldives arrest marriage celebrant over foul-mouthed wedding ceremony

Police in the Maldives have arrested two men after an English-speaking foreign couple who believed they were renewing marriage vows were actually being called “swine” and “infidels”.

The couple were subjected to a torrent of abuse.
The couple were subjected to a torrent of abuse.

POLICE IN THE Maldives have arrested a marriage celebrant who verbally abused a foreign couple who believed they were renewing their marriage vows but were actually being mocked, reports Agence France-Presse.

AFP reports that Maldivian police spokesman Ahmed Shiyam said the celebrant and another hotel employee were arrested after a video was posted on YouTube of an unwitting English-speaking couple being called “swine” and “infidels” during a ceremony.

Despite reports that the couple were Swiss or French, police have declined to confirm their nationality.

“We started investigations and treat this as a very serious matter,” Shiyam told AFP.

Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed expressed “disgust” at the incident and said that the conduct of those involved was “absolutely disgraceful”. He has vowed to introduce strict guidelines on conducting wedding ceremonies in his nation, which is a tourism-dependent economy.

It is believed that the ceremony took place earlier in the month in the Vilu Reef resort. A hotel employee later posted a video of the event on YouTube.

In the video the couple smile and raise their hands to pray in front of a table decorated with incense sticks, surrounded by white sand and turquoise sea. However, instead of performing a vow-renewal ceremony, staff take advantage of the language barrier and secretly abuse them, referencing bestiality, sexual diseases and “frequent fornication by homosexuals”.

Local newspaper Minivan quotes the celebrant as saying during the ceremony:

Your marriage is not a valid one. You are not the kind of people who can have a valid marriage. One of you is an infidel. The other, too, is an infidel – and we have reason to believe – an atheist, who does not even believe in an infidel religion.

You fornicate and make a lot of children. You drink and you eat pork. Most of the children that you have are marked with spots and blemishes. These children that you have are bastards.

After the 15-minutes of abuse, there is a round of applause and the unwitting couple are led across the beach to plant a coconut tree.

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