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Constitution

Gayoom Vs Yameen: 8 PPM MPs Revolt Against President

in News by

The rift in ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives is now translating into act of rebellion as the MPs apparently belonging to the faction led by former President Maumoon Gayoom said they will put national interest before President Abdulla Yameen’s diktat.

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The development came after court stripped PPM’s President Maumoon Gayoom of all his powers and handed the full control to President Yameen.

In a press conference on Thursday, eight MPs announced that the decision of President Yameen has done irreparable damage and they will bring a number of changes in the Parliamentary work adding that they will no longer abide by the whip line set by Yameen.

The faction criticised lack of transparency, increasing authoritarianism and allegations of corruption by the government and vowed to work with the opposition to restore democracy in the country.

Meanwhile, MDP welcomed the decision of the MPs and said that the party looks forward to working with the MPs to bring about any necessary legislative changes to uphold the Constitution, protect fundamental freedoms, and to restore democracy in the country.

“In light of the immense difficulties that the people of the Maldives are to face, it is encouraging that 8 Government party MPs have pledged their intention to work with the opposition. We ask other Government MPs to do same, to work towards reform. This is now leading to President Yameen losing his majority in the Parliament. With this, President Yameen has lost any remaining legitimacy he may have had,” said former President Mohamed Nasheed.

On Sunday, Chief Judge Abdulla Didi ruled in favour of President Yameen citing extrordinary circumstances due to Maummon’s refusal to convene the party’s governing council and sacking of his deputy, Maldives Independent reported.

The court made President Yameen, who was the advisor of the party, as the head of PPM.

Maumoon’s Gayoom, meanwhile said that he will take the case to Supreme Court.

The rift between Gayoom brothers goes back to June when President Yameen led government introduced the Tourism Bill to which Maumoon strongly opposed. The rift got wider when Maumoon refused to endorse Yameen as the party’s
Presidential candidate for the next election followed by sacking of Faris Gayoom in reaction.

Maumoon who is in loggerheads with his half-brother Yameen has time and again criticised him for his decisions to implement death penalty and leave the commonwealth.

Maumoon daughter and former Foreign Affairs Minister Dunya Maumoon and his loyal and former Home Minsiter Umar Naseer had quit Yameen-led government citing differences.

MDP Cries Foul Over Election Commission’s Removal Of MPs Eva Abdulla And Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

in News/Politics by

In a deteriorating political climate in the Maldives, the Election Commission has struck off nearly half of the Maldivian Democratic Party’s members from its registry after the parliament approved a law requiring all political party members to submit their fingerprint records.

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Some 18,803 members were removed, reducing the main opposition party’s membership to 27,805 members.

The Election Commission on Thursday, effectively removed MDP MPs, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Eva Abdulla from the Party’s membership list. MP Ibu Solih is a founding member of the MDP, and is also the Party’s Parliamentary Group Leader. MP Ibu Solih is currently serving his fifth term in Parliament, whereas MP Eva Abdulla is serving her second.

The Election Commission, whose independence has been compromised since the appointment of individuals politically aligned to the Yameen Government, began their insidious meddling with Party membership lists in July 2014.

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MDP MP Eva Abdulla is the first women to be elected to the governing council of the Maldives first democratic party.

A fingerprinted form for political party membership was first introduced by a regulation in 2010, and by law in 2013. Then in July 2014, the elections commission gave all parties a six-month deadline to re-register all members whose fingerprints were not on file.

Other parties affected by the law include the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, the Jumhooree Party and the Adhaalath Party. The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives, which emerged as a breakaway faction of the DRP in 2011, will not be affected.

The PPM, with 37,633 members, is now the largest political party in the country.

The DRP lost nearly 10,000 members, and now has only 3,966 registered members. The JP’s membership was reduced by 3000, while some 1000 members were taken off the AP’s registry.

The JP now has 10,989 members, and the AP has 9,009.

The MDP and the DRP challenged the order at the civil court, arguing that the requirement cannot be applied retroactively, a view the attorney general has supported.

The case moved onto the High Court, which granted an injunction on the Election Commission’s order. In reaction to the injunction, the ruling party used its majority to circumvent the courts and passed an amendment to the Political Parties requiring all members to submit fingerprinted membership forms or be taken off the lists.

MPs Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Eva Abdulla have submitted fingerprinted forms twice to the Election Commission only to be repeatedly rejected. Their forms were submitted prior to the deadline and following the second submission they were not informed of the cause of rejection.

MDP’s International Spokesperson, Hamid Abdul Gafoor said, “it is slightly suspicious how keen the EC were to inform Parliament of the removal of MDP MP Ibu Solih and MP Eva Abdulla when they and the Parliament have repeatedly refused to acknowledge the MDP’s requests to remove MP Moosa Manik as a member of the MDP’s Parliamentary Group. The EC’s actions continue to obstruct peaceful political activity, making a mockery of our constitution and the hopes for a free and fair election.”


Although the PPM claims the law is necessary to prevent fraud, MDP MPs said it was aimed at reducing the party’s membership, and cutting off its state funding, as the number of members in a party determines the size of the annual grant it receives from the state budget.

The elections commission has meanwhile withheld funding for all political parties citing leadership vacuums and mismanagement by some parties.

This comes at a time when there is growing disillusionment in the institutions of the Maldives, including the independence of the Election Commission.

In July, former President of the Elections Commission, , had said that the people of the  have lost confidence in the institution and that there was no need of introducing in the island nation.

 

Maldives: It’s Back To Square One!

in Opinion by
Even as reactions continue to pour in over the weekend on Maldives’ decision to exit the Commonwealth, alleging ‘unfair and unjust treatment’, the leadership of President Abdulla Yameen has moved on with the next political move, this one nearer home. The Yameen faction of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) got a civil court order removing former President and half-brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, as party head and replacing the latter’s team with another one of the President’s choice.
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On the opposition’s front, yet another former President, Mohammed ‘Anni’ Nasheed, too shed all semblances of fighting for democracy in the Maldives. From his overseas home in the UK, where he has been granted political asylum after jumping prison-leave for spinal surgery, Nasheed’s legal team has announced their decision to move UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, on a near-single point, for him to be able to contest the presidential polls, now due in 2018.

The Nasheed decision followed the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group’s (CMAG) inability to initiate any ‘action’ of the kind that his camp had envisaged against the Yameen government through its three meetings in the current year. The CMAG’s next meeting is fixed for March 2017 when it had threatened to take Maldives on its agenda to deny the nation participation in Commonwealth Council meetings and the rest.
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Nasheed’s decision to move the UNHRC also came only days before the Yameen government declared that it was quitting the Commonwealth. If earlier the Nasheed camp might have indicated that the Commonwealth was a toothless tiger, if at all, the Yameen decision has indicated that all CMAG initiatives of whatever kind have become infructuous with retrospective effect.

In a way, Nasheed’s team seemed to have foreseen the possibilities before moving the UNHRC, though it’s unclear if they had any specific information that Yameen would act faster on the Commonwealth front than anticipated – that’s ahead of the March session. On other related spheres, too, the government has acted quick and fast, dropping all links to the Commonwealth. Maldivian missions overseas have now become Embassies in the place of High Commissions, a term linked to the membership of the Commonwealth.
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With all this, Yameen seems to have reduced his ‘development’ agenda into a single-point scheme to be able to contest – and win – a second term, the highest under the existing 2008 constitution. Nasheed too has reduced all talks of democracy and ‘inclusive elections’ to include his name alone – or, also – in the ballot for 2018 polls. With their current moves thus, they have shed the fig-leaf of fighting for a cause, whatever it be, and have reduced it all into a fight for personal supremacy, which is what it had been from day one.

It’s anybody’s guess if the UNHRC could move any faster than the Commonwealth on Nasheed’s initiative, and provide for ‘inclusive’ elections of the kind that he and his followers within the larger Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) wants. Old Maldives hands would recall how Nasheed in his own way had ‘hijacked’ the MDP and with that the larger democracy plank when the Gayoom presidency was seemingly unending and autocratic.
Nearer home, thus, it’s equally unclear if there are other presidential aspirants in the MDP, who may want to contest the party primaries ahead of the 2018 polls, or would they unanimously adopt his name, as they did – or, were forced to do – in 2013. If Nasheed were allowed to contest the next presidential polls, whatever the ways and reasons, would his camp revive the earlier posturing that his first term remained incomplete after his resignation/coup in February 2012, is another politico-constitutional question that the party too may need to address, early on.
Even as the government was preparing to announce Maldives’ exit from the Commonwealth, the Yameen-majority PPM parliamentary group initiated motions of political rapprochement between the governmental and organisational wings. Or, so did it seem at the time. They called for brothers Yameen and Gayoom to patch up differences, and asked for time to meet with both.

Photo Courtesy: President's Office


 Yameen gave time, and Gayoom did not – and that was enough for the Yameen camp to move the civil courts and obtain an order, unseating Gayoom from his party presidency. Earlier, the parliamentary group stuck to their sacking Gayoom’s older son, Faraas, from membership and declared his disqualification to represent PPM in the all-party negotiations, purportedly revived by the government, post-CMAG.
Today, the all-party negotiations have lost their relevance in the Commonwealth’s context, but may still remain, even as a lip-service by all, given the government’s continued commitment to stay ‘engaged’ with the international community. Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who resigned to take up the Commonwealth Special Rapporteur assignment for Maldives, may be ‘unemployed’ just now, but that need not be the case with the UN special envoy, Tamrat Samuel.
A lot however would depend on which way the Yameen leadership on the one hand, and the MDP-led political opposition on the other, and the Gayoom camp, on the third could turn, and turn up, on the all-party negotiations. Already, all sections have gone back on their perceived post-CMAG commitments. The government has continued with pre-conditions that convicts could not be named (say, by the MDP) to rep resent them. The MDP too has harped on the same, after enthusiastically accepting the government’s invitation – but leaving it to the leadership to decide the party nominees for the talks.
Dunya Gayoom (3)

Just now, the Gayoom’s camp’s legal and political positions are unclear. Maumoon is expected to challenge his court-ordered removal as PPM head in higher judicial forums. Alongside and alternatively, he can be expected to consider floating a new party – the third since 2008 – and still nominate son Faraas to the political negotiations, if invited. Yameen’s foe-turned-friend-turned-foe of the past five years, former Home Minister Umar Naseer, too is hoping to be nominated for the presidential polls by the Gayoom camp, making it politically difficult for Gayoom to keep it within the family, still.

After distancing itself from Nasheed’s early claims to an emerging/existing alliance against Yameen, the Gayoom camp surprised followers and foes alike by participating in a recent all-opposition news conference against the nation’s Election Commission – and by extension, the incumbent government. They were protesting against the EC delaying/denying funds disbursements for recognised political parties, as laid down under the 2008 constitution, citing what they considered were ‘extraneous reasons’.
The EC however has threatened to de-recognise parties whose leaders were living overseas and were not available to update Commission documents and electoral lists’ as required. Nasheed and his associates in the MDP-led Maldives United Opposition (MUO), apart from the parties that they lead, are candidates for such de-recognition. Would the MDP and other parties in the EC’s list ‘elect’ leaders for an interim period, which could extend indefinitely, if only to be on EC’s records of recognised political parties authorised to contest future elections, is the question they should be asking themselves.
Over the medium-term, however, with Nasheed out of the country and prison without authorisation, and continuing to remain ‘disqualified’ from contesting the elections, any alternative arrangement  is for the MDP to make and in good time. Independent of the ‘terrorism’ trial that was heaped on Nasheed for what r remained an ordinary criminal trial in the ‘Judge Adbulla abduction case’ dating back to the former’s months as president, the inability of the international community to have an ‘inclusive’ election as he has now envisaged, could flag political, rather than diplomatic issues of their own.
Hopes now thus lie more on the effective revival of the political negotiations, under UN care than on any UNHRC initiatives. There again, the government has been maintaining stoic silence on the continued relevance of the UN group on arbitrary detentions naming Nasheed’s as ‘one’, which it had condemned unequivocally when made. None of the stake-holders, including the UN, can ride on multiple tigers, and hope to reach their destination, purportedly common.
It’s back to square one – who winks first, if at all, how and for how long, and who does not. In context, Maldives quitting the Commonwealth, and the latter feeling saddened about what anyway was in the making, and the UK as the Commonwealth’s founder and eternal chair, too feeling upset, have only academic relevance just now.
So are all the protests and criticisms of the Maldivian exit from the Commonwealth, both from within and outside the country….at least until the other stakeholders have a point to make, and make it loud, clear and effectively in ways the Maldivian state apparatus and the Yameen leadership hear, understand, and are compelled to act upon.  The irony is that the solution to the Maldivian imbroglio lies within, and international diplomacy can only take it away not closer to the ‘collective goal’, which is just not there, either.

(N. Sathiya Moorthy is Director, Chennai Chapter of the Observer  Research Foundation.  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FocusMaldives.)
This article was originally published on South Asia Monitor. It has been republished with permission.

Maumoon Gayoom Fears Eviction From Party Leadership, Cancels Visit To Egypt

in Mas-Huni Brief by

The growing conflict between Gayoom brothers in PPM and widening rift between their supporters have forced party’s President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to cancel his trip to Egypt amid plans to unseat him from his post.

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  • Deputy Secretary-General of PPM, Abdul Aleem said that Maumoon had decided to cancel his trip to Egypt
  • The trip’s been cancelled due to an internal movement in violation of PPM’s Constitution and democratic values to unseat the leader
  • Maumoon has taken PPM’s office under his direct control
  • He has also appointed loyalist Umar Naseer to PPM’s council
  • Meanwhile, there were some efforts were put to reconcile the differences last week
  • Two rebellion party members who walked out of Gayoom’s meeting apologised to him
  • Though, Yameen loyalists have asked PPM members not to follow the PPM office’s directive on the upcoming Local Elections
  • They were asked to follow the directives of Chairman of PPM Elections Committee, Deputy Leader of PPM, Abdul Raheem Abdulla

Read full story on Sun Online

Efforts In PPM On To Bridge The Gap Between Gayoom Brothers

in Mas-Huni Brief by

Efforts with the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) is on to bridge the gap between Gayoom brothers- President Abdulla Yameen and former President and PPM President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom- amid the escalating political situation in the country.

gayoom yameen


  • PPM has decided to meet brothers to sort out the differences between them
  • Meanwhile, on Maumoon Gayoom’s demand two MPs communicated their official apology
  • MP Asma Rasheed and Baarah MP Ibrahim Sujau apologised for walking out of party’s council meeting in July
  • Asma and Sujau apologised to Maumoon via PPM’s official Viber group
  • Gayoom had threatened to hold council meeting only after the “rebels” apologised

The message sent by by both Asma and Sujau read:

I apologise to President Maumoon for any violation of PPM Constitution we may have partaken in

Read full story on Sun Online

Ex-Prez Mohamed Nasheed Knocks UN’s Door To Get His Political Rights Restored Before 2018 Presidential Elections

in News/Politics by

With Presidential elections due in 2018 and amid growing resentment in the Maldives due to dictatorial nature of the government, former President Mohamed Nasheed has moved to United Nations seeking to restore his political rights that were “illegally” removed by “wrongful” conviction.

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Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed filed a formal complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee, seeking to restore his political rights that were illegally removed by operation of his wrongful conviction on bogus terrorism charges.

The poster boy of the Maldivian democracy, Nasheed in a formal complaint asked UN Human Rights Committee to restore his political rights to lead his opposition Maldivian Democratic Party ahead of 2018 presidential election.

Nasheed, who is currently in the United Kingdom in exile, was automatically disqualified from running for political office under the country’s Constitution and from holding a leadership position in a political party under the Amendment to the Prison and Parole Act after he was convicted for 13-years in prison on the charges of terrorism.

“Today, counsel for former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed filed a formal complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee, seeking to restore his political rights that were illegally removed by operation of his wrongful conviction on bogus terrorism charges,” a statement released on Friday said adding “This includes his right to participate in the 2018 presidential elections and to lead his opposition political party, the Maldivian Democratic Party.”

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The Maldives is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty that is binding on its government under international law

Articles 25 and 22 of that treaty provide for the rights to political participation and to freedom of association, respectively.  The Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, to which the Maldives is also a party, provides an individual complaint mechanism for violations of the treaty.

In his 20-page submission, Nasheed also highlighted UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s findings which said that Nasheed’s arrest, conviction, sentence, and imprisonment on terrorism charges was “arbitrary” and in “violation” of international law.

On the submission, Nasheed’s lawyer Jared Genser said:

We have filed our complaint before the Human Rights Committee because any disqualification from running for office or leading a political party emanating from what has been found to be an arbitrary detention by an independent and impartial international tribunal is fruit of the poisonous tree and hence null and void by the standards of international law.

The first democratically elected President of the Maldives, Nasheed was convicted of terrorism in March 2015 on terrorism charges for 13 years for kidnapping a judge which was later upheld by the Supreme Court stripping him of any political rights.

Jumhooree Party To Contest 2018 Presidential Election

in Mas-Huni Brief by

Jumhooree Party (JP) has decided to contest the upcoming Presidential Election in 2018 in a council meeting on Friday.

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  • 18 members of the party unanimously voted to contest the upcoming elections
  • Even as the party will run for election, its leader Qasim Ibrahim cannot be involved
  • According to new amendment in the constitution in 2015, people older than 65 years cannot contest Presidential election.
  • Qasim had run for elections in 2013 and supported President Abdulla Yameen after losing

Read full report at Sun Online

Ex-Prez Gayoom Hits At Prez Yameen, Says Seeing Downfall In Modern Democracy

in Mas-Huni Brief by

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  • Downfall of democracy in Maldives
  • Ex-President Maumoon Gayoom says Maldives “seeing now is the downfall of his work to bring a modern democracy to the country”
  • He said some of the bills and amendments were passed by the government
  • That go against the constitution ratified in 2008
  • He signaled at criminalisation of defamation & public gathering in the country
  • Said freedom of expression is granted by Article 27 of the Constitution and the freedom of press granted by Article 28
  • And freedom of public gathering granted to every citizen under Article 32 of the Constitution

Maldives: The Curse Of Independence

in Opinion by

Sumon K Chakrabarti - Author

In 2008, the Maldives had emerged as a beacon of democratic hope across the globe. A fledgling democracy had started taking baby steps in Asia’s longest-running dictatorship – a 100 percent Sunni Muslim nation. The road to democracy in Maldives, a string of 1,192 mostly uninhabited coral atolls, was painful. Some 500 miles off the tip of India, the Maldives have gone through a sea-change since 2008 – from an alleged coup de’tat to ‘dystopia’.

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Today, the world’s leading honeymoon destination, once the world’s most secular Sunni Muslim nation, is being driven towards hardline Islam, especially ‘Sharia’ by none other than its controversial and increasingly autocratic president Abdullah Yameen Gayoom – half-brother of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The irony though, has just begun, unflinching in it’s almost ‘funny (sic) side’ of brazenness.

The road to democracy in Maldives, a string of 1,192 mostly uninhabited coral atolls, was painful. Some 500 miles off the tip of India, the Maldives have gone through a sea-change since 2008 – from an alleged coup de’tat to ‘dystopia’.

It was on this day in 1965, July 26th, that the Maldives gained independence from the United Kingdom after 77 years as a British protectorate. Ironic yet true that the archipelago in the Indian Ocean marks its 51st anniversary of independence where most of its opposition political figures had to seek refuge in the land of their once colonial masters or they have been shoved behind bars. Most notable among them, the first democratic president of the island nation and the poster boy of international climate change – Mohamed Nasheed; along with Yameen’s former vice-president Mohamed Jameel who was impeached by his own boss!

If you thought that that was the ultimate ‘welcome to the dark side of life’ sign ever, Yameen trumped himself with an Independence Day speech on Monday night. The President insisted that death penalty has to be implemented because Qur’an says so, & therefore, that it cannot be stopped. He is hell-bent that the first execution of a convict in sixty years since 1953 will take place under his watch as a reiteration of Maldives’ Islamic credentials.

As he painted a Maldives as in a post-Tsunami dystopia, besieged by criminals, ‘disruptors of peace and harmony’, where ‘friendly scuffles between minors had escalated to the point’ in which ‘warfare is publicly declared,’ Yameen offered himself as the savior.

“The number of parties envious of our 100 percent Islamic nation are many. Every day is a day when the Government is pressured into allowing Maldives to become a multi-religious society. Every day is of warnings and caution over implementation of Islamic Shariah, teaching of Islam. There is a faction of traitors, bent on damaging the nation’s peace, stability, progress,” he proclaimed.

Addressing the nation, the President laid out a Nixon-esque chaotic vision of a country enveloped in smoke and flame where you hear ‘sirens in the night’.

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President Abdulla Yameen addressing nation on the occasion of 51st Independence Day

And the real issues got drowned.

Nearly 40 radicalised Maldivians have been documented to have left the country of 400,000 to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). But more alarming, ISIS-affiliations are being shown in openly on the streets and the government has stayed mum, fanning a base of violence and muddling the serene turquoise waters in this picturesque setting of cobbled roads and luxury resorts.

And then there is his elder brother Maumoon Gayoom, a former Egyptian-trained Islamic cleric, who ruled the nation of 370,000 like his personal sultanate for three decades and laid the foundation for many vices that the nation still grapples to resolve. Gayoom and his government have faced allegations of human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, torture and custodial deaths. But most overwhelmingly, for corrupting a judiciary, which has been usurped more swiftly by his half-brother now in power. As a defeat in the first-ever democratic elections stared in his face, the elder Gayoom ensured the judges he appointed stayed as is.

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Maldives flag & flag of jihad in textbook dedicated to “fruits” of Jihad, claiming that the ultimate fruit of Jihad is martyrdom, for which the reward in Islam is an eternity in heaven

But who did he appoint? 60 percent of the current judges have less than a seventh grade education, 30 percent have actual criminal records and a couple of sex-tapes!

But as the elder Gayoom has taken on his half-brother openly and viciously, the walls around President Yameen have started crumbling. One brick by another. He has jailed his allies, maimed his opponents, and crushed his critics too many times in the last 2 years. The result : a disjointed opposition came together in a united coalition where his own are deserting him and those even half-connected via blood is baying for his.

And in his last-ditch effort to hang on to power (which he referred to as “prevent such uncivilized behavior” in his Independence Day speech), Yameen is doing what many a tyrant have done in Islamic history – cling to their own interpretation of hardline Islam.

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Ministers and bureaucrats praying on the occasion of Independence Day

Therefore, he sees implementing death penalty is a clear commandment in Islam. He said as the leader of the nation, the responsibility on him to implement the verdict was bigger on him. “Islamic Shariah and the legal structure under the Constitution, excludes the President from this narrative. In Islam, capital punishment is mandated for all murderers; this is clearly said in the Quran. Therefore, implementing death penalty is a must in order to maintain rule of law,” he said.

And if the Maldives today had a version of the reality series The Apprentice, President Yameen would have already been singing what Donald Trump said in a baritone once : “This is a dictatorship and I’m the dictator. There’s no voting and there’s no jury.”

Welcome to the Maldives. The sun is setting. The martini has been spilled. Happy Independence Day. We always knew they will come back, but at what cost!


[Sumon K Chakrabarti Is The Founder-Editor Of FocusMaldives.com]

Halt Execution Of Hussain Humam: UN Human Rights Experts

in News by

Four United Nations human rights experts on Friday urged the government to halt the execution of Hussain Humam Ahmed, and to re-try him in compliance with international standards.

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They called on the authorities to uphold the unofficial moratorium on capital punishment in force for the last six decades.

“Criminal proceedings against Mr. Ahmed did not afford him guarantees of fair trial and due process,” said the independent experts on arbitrary detention, summary executions, torture and independence of the judiciary.

“The implementation of a death sentence following judicial procedures which do not respect the most stringent guarantees of fair trial and due process is unlawful and tantamount to an arbitrary execution,” they stressed.

The 22-year-old Maldivian was sentenced to death in 2014 for the alleged murder of a former Member of Parliament and religious scholar, Afrasheem Ali in 2012.

The human rights experts noted that the Maldives Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death sentence on 24 June, while the investigation was still ongoing, and that the accusation and the murder verdict was based on a pre-trial confession obtained under duress.

hussain humam


“The courts have also disregarded a claim that the defendant has a psycho-social or intellectual disability and a request for an independent evaluation of his mental health status,” they added. “Mr. Ahmed’s defence rights were disrespected”

In upholding the death sentence, the Supreme Court has reportedly refused to accept letters from the victim’s next of kin indicating that they do not wish to impose the death sentence on Mr. Ahmed under the Qisas process while criminal investigations remain incomplete.

“These procedures contravene international standards of fair trial and due process, as well as Article 52 of the Maldivian Constitution, which provides that ‘No confession shall be admissible in evidence unless made in court by an accused who is in a sound state of mind,’” the experts noted.

The Government of Maldives re-introduced capital punishment in 2014 through the adoption of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Death Penalty, without passing a law, as required by article 21 of the Constitution.

“The reinstitution of the death sentence and resumption of executions after more than 60 years is not only unconstitutional, it also runs counter to the international trend towards the abolition of the death penalty,” the human rights experts underscored.

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