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Maldives

    September 22, 2017

    Amnesty International has serious fair trial concerns in the case of opposition MP, Faris Maumoon, who faces a hearing on Monday on charges stemming from his attempt to move a vote of no-confidence in the Speaker of Parliament.

    Faris Maumoon was arrested by the Maldivian authorities on 18 July 2017, amid charges that he attempted to bribe parliamentarians into supporting a vote of no-confidence against Abdullah Maseeh, the Speaker of Parliament and a key ally of Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen. Maumoon’s home was raided and property taken, including documents, over the course of four hours.

    “The Maldives has long denied members of the political opposition a fair trial. There have been convictions on trumped-up charges, for all sorts of alleged offences from trespassing to terrorism. There are serious concerns that Faris Maumoon will suffer the same fate. He must be given a fair trial in line with international standards,” said Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director.

    August 31, 2017

    Photo Credit: Amnesty International France

    Download PDF of  the most recent update to UA 179/17 Maldives

    179a Maldives.pdf 179a Maldives.pdf

     

    August 03, 2017

    By Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director

    The Maldives is one of the world’s most desired holiday destinations. This curl of islands in the Indian Ocean, renowned for its wondrous natural beauty, attracts more than a million people each year. The sweeping views of turquoise water, the white sand beaches shaded by sloping palm trees, and the warm hospitality of its people have earned it comparisons to paradise.

    This week, however, the country is drawing attention for the ugly actions of its government. The Maldives is poised to carry out its first executions in more than 60 years. Against the backdrop of a political crisis, the embattled government wants to send three men to the gallows in a feeble attempt to look tough and distract attention.

    If they are allowed to go ahead, the executions would violate the Maldives’ commitments under international law. There are serious questions about the fairness of the proceedings that consigned the three men to their fate. One of them, Hussain Humaam Ahmed, was convicted of murder on the basis of an apparently coerced “confession” that he later retracted.

    August 01, 2017
      ·         First executions in more than 60 years ·         Government seeks to divert attention from political crisis ·         Executions would violate Maldives commitments under international law   Authorities in the Maldives must halt the first executions in more than 60 years as the government seeks to divert attention from a worsening political crisis, Amnesty International said today.   The Minister of Home Affairs has announced that executions will resume “in the next few days”, leaving three men on death row who have exhausted their legal processes at imminent risk. No date for the executions has been specified.  
    June 23, 2017

    Opposition politician Adam Azim has been released after spending nearly a week in detention in Maldives. He was arrested and faced trumped up charges after criticizing the government in a TV interview.

    Adam Azim, 46, is a well-known advocate for democracy in Maldives and a shadow minister in the opposition alliance, Maldives United Opposition (MUO). Shortly after his return to Maldives from a visit to Europe, Adam Azim was interviewed on the private TV channel Sangu TV on 8 June where he criticized the lack of independence of the judiciary as well as alleged corruption among government officials. Hours after his interview, police arrested him at his home in the capital, Malé. According to the arrest warrant, Adam Azim was suspected of inciting rioting and forceful overthrow of the government as well as obstructing police officers and obstructing the administration of law (under Sections 532, 533 and 610 of the Penal Code). He could have faced up to 17 years in prison if charged and convicted.

    May 31, 2017

    A call for appeals for Thayyib's release was sent to the Urgent Action Network on March 29 2017.

    Maldivian social media activist Thayyib Shaheem was released on 17 April after spending almost one month on remand in Dhoonidhoo island prison. He was accused of “spreading panic” on social media after he criticized a development project in Maldives.

    On 17 April 2017, Thayyib Shaheem was released from prison after the High Court overturned the Criminal Court’s detention order against him. Despite never being formally charged with a crime, he is released on the condition that he ceases his criticism of the government on social media and that he remain in the country for a period of 60 days.

    November 04, 2015

    President Abdulla Yameen’s declaration of a 30 day state of emergency in the Maldives ahead of planned anti-government protests raises the prospect of further attacks on dissent and human rights in the country, said Amnesty International today.

    “The declaration of a state of emergency must not be a precursor to a further crackdown on dissent or other human rights violations. The government should not use this state of emergency to silence free speech or infringe on other human rights,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher.

    “The Maldivian authorities have a disturbing track-record of supressing freedom of expression and any form of opposition, which has intensified over the last two years. It is vital that authorities respect their obligations under international human rights law during this period of emergency.”

    September 04, 2015

    Maldives authorities must promptly and thoroughly investigate the brutal stabbing in broad daylight today of one of the lawyers of ex-President Mohamed Nasheed and bring to justice those responsible for it, Amnesty International said.

    Mahfooz Saeed, who is also a member of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and an active blogger, was attacked by two men in the Maldivian capital Male today around 5pm local time. The men stabbed him in his head, and he is currently going through emergency surgery. The police must undertake a full, impartial and independent investigation, using all available information including any footage from nearby CCTV cameras.

    “This vicious attack must not go unpunished – Maldives authorities must ensure that human rights defenders can work free from fear of reprisals and that those responsible are held to account. There are strong suspicions that this was a targeted attack against Mahfooz Saeed and it is crucial that the true motive is uncovered,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher.

    April 30, 2015

    Authorities in the Maldives must ensure that opposition-led May Day protests are allowed to pass peacefully and police who have threatened to crack down on demonstrators must refrain from excessive force, Amnesty International said.

    Supporters of the opposition coalition “Maldivians against Tyranny” are planning to stage a protest in the Maldives capital Male on 1 May. They demand the release of former President Mohamed Nasheed who has been imprisoned on charges of terrorism since March 2015 after an unfair trial. The opposition claims many thousands of people might take part in the protest, in what could be one of the largest such gatherings in the island nation’s history.

    “The May Day demonstrations come at a time when political tensions are threatening to boil over in the Maldives. The country’s security forces have a troubling history of violently repressing opposition protests, not least over the past few months – this must not happen tomorrow,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher.

    April 23, 2015

    The human rights situation in the Maldives is deteriorating alarmingly as authorities are muzzling peaceful protesters, silencing critical media and civil society, while abusing the judicial system to imprison opposition politicians, Amnesty International said in a new briefing today.

    The briefing comes on the back of a five-day fact finding mission to Maldives (17 to 22 April 2015), when an Amnesty International delegation interviewed lawyers, human rights defenders, journalists and political activists. The delegation was unable to meet with government officials during this visit, but intends to accept an invitation to do so later in the year.

    “There’s a climate of fear spreading in the Maldives, as safeguards on human rights are increasingly eroded. The authorities have a growing track record of silencing critical voices by any means necessary – be it through the police, the judicial system, or outright threats and harassment. This must end immediately,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher, who launched the briefing at a press conference in Delhi, India.

    March 13, 2015

    The conviction of Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives on terrorism charges after a deeply flawed and politically motivated trial is a travesty of justice, said Amnesty International.

    “Amnesty International condemns the conviction of Mohamed Nasheed to 13 years in jail by judges who were state witnesses during an earlier investigation of this case. This trial has been flawed from start to finish, and the conviction is unsound” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director.

    “Rather than responding to international calls to strengthen the impartiality of the judiciary the government of the Maldives has proceeded with this sham trial for political reasons”.

    January 24, 2014

    Maldives must immediately put a stop to any plans to resume executions for the first time in 60 years, said Amnesty International.

    Home Minister Umar Naseer yesterday ordered the country’s prisons to start making “all necessary arrangements” for the implementation of all death sentences through lethal injection.
     
    “Any move towards resuming executions in Maldives would be a retrograde step and a serious setback for human rights in the country,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher.

    “There is no such thing as a ‘humane’ way to put someone to death, and no evidence that the threat of execution works as a deterrent to crime. Maldives should put an immediate end to such plans now, and instead abolish the death penalty in law once and for all.”

    While Maldives legally retains the death penalty the country, it has not carried out an execution since 1954. There are currently 19 prisoners on death row

    August 21, 2013

    A flogging sentence against a 15-year-old rape victim in Maldives has been annulled, but the girl should never have been prosecuted at all, Amnesty International said.

    A Maldives High Court today quashed a sentence of 100 lashes and house arrest against a 15-year old girl for the “offence” of extra-marital sex. The girl, who was convicted of “fornication” in February this year, had reportedly also been sexually abused repeatedly by her step father.

    “Annulling this sentence was of course the right thing to do. We are relieved that the girl will be spared this inhumane ‘punishment’ based on an outrageous conviction, which we hope has also been quashed,” said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director.

    “No one should ever be prosecuted for sex outside marriage in the first place. And victims of sexual abuse need counselling, not punishment. The government must make sure that she has continuing access to appropriate support services.

    May 03, 2013

    The Maldives authorities must commute the death sentences and stop the potential execution of two teenagers who yesterday received capital punishment for a murder allegedly committed when they were under 18, Amnesty International said.

    The two juveniles were convicted by the Juvenile Court in the capital Male' over a fatal gang stabbing incident in February. Both the accused, who have now reached 18, reportedly deny the charge.

    "The Maldives authorities are flouting international law - anyone convicted of a crime committed when they were under 18 is exempt from the death penalty," said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director.

    Maldives is a State Party to two UN treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which forbid capital punishment for crimes committed by persons below 18 years of age.

    "The authorities must immediately reverse these death sentences, and the prosecution must not try to uphold the death sentences in any appeals," said Polly Truscott.

    March 06, 2013

    In a welcome move, the government of Maldives has added its voice to the mounting national and international concern about the sentence of flogging the Juvenile Court imposed on a girl of 15 last week.

    The girl, who had been sexually abused, was sentenced on 26 February 2013 to 100 lashes and eight months’ house arrest on a charge of “fornication”. Amnesty International called on the government of Maldives to ensure the girl is not flogged and the punishment is removed from Maldivian law.

    In its 28 February statement, the government has acknowledged that the girl should be treated as a victim and not an offender and “her rights should be fully protected”.

    Amnesty International supports the government’s view that all cases of child abuse including sexual abuse should be viewed “through a human rights lens” based on the “best interest of the child”.

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