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Maldives

    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”.

    March 05, 2013

    The arrest of former President Mohamed Nasheed is an example of selective justice from the Maldives authorities and highlights their failure to investigate other serious human rights abuses in the country, Amnesty International said.

    Nasheed, who resigned as President in February 2012 under disputed circumstances, was arrested in the Maldivian capital Male today.

    He is accused of illegally ordering the arrest of a judge while in office, and on Wednesday will face trial for “unlawfully arresting an innocent person” under Maldivian law.

    “Of course political leaders, including Nasheed, should be held to account - but the targeting of Nasheed is an example of selective justice,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher.

    “Amnesty International, and many others, have documented a wide range of human rights violations committed by security forces following Nasheed’s resignation. These include police violence against peaceful protesters and the deliberate targeting of Nasheed’s supporters.

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