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UN Expresses Worry Over Increased Polarisation In Maldives; Here’s What Others Said In Past

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern on the increasing polarisation in the Maldives, which has made dialogue among the Government and political parties increasingly difficult. This is the second time during the year when UN chief expressed concern over the increasingly autocratic regime under President Abdulla Yameen.

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Ban Ki-moon in a statement released on Saturday said:

The Secretary-General strongly encourages all concerned to work toward an inclusive dialogue aimed at finding mutually acceptable solutions based on compromise, the primacy of the national interest and the preservation of democratic principles and institutions.

Earlier in May, Ban had also expressed the need to establish political dialogue among all stakeholders and urged the Maldivian government to grant clemency to former president Mohamed Nasheed who was locked up in Maafushi jail that time.

Besides the apex human rights body, other human rights watchdog had been expressing concern over the deteriorating political situation in the country. Here’s what all has been said so far:


On Muzzling Political Voice


In September, CHRI said that the nations is sliding into a dictatorial system once again and the situation will soon push the island nation into the brink of and anarchy.

Suspend, exclude and halt the current government.

Following CHRI’s report Commonwealth had put the Maldives on agenda and threatened suspension by March next year. However, President and his men decided to leave the Commonwealth on October 13.

In August, United States’ lawmakers slammed government by saying that the legitimate political space is “narrowing” in the country. The US blamed government’s intolerance for putting many opposition politicians behind bars adding that they are being sent to jail after flawed judicial processes.

’s Special Convoy to the , also warned government of international consequences and said that the country facing “severe deficit”.

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein at the 32nd Human Rights Council session in Geneva in July had expressed concern about the “shrinking democratic space” in the country and said the use of terrorism related charges “troubled” him.

In July, European Union opposed to capital punishment in “all cases and without exception” and urged government to continue to apply the “’de facto moratorium’” on executions as a first step towards its abolition.


Death Penalty


Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein also expressed worry over implementation of death penalty in the country. He also cited the “flagrant irregularities” in Humam’s trial, describing it as “a rushed process that appears to contravene the Maldives’ own laws and practices and international fair trial standards in a number of respects.”

U.N. logo pattern a press conference background at the United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)


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

Freedom Of Press


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, the international watchdog for press freedom, had termed the ’ government’s assault on the country’s independent “utterly absurd and unacceptable”. The organization slammed President ’s regime after a court banned former journalists with the now-defunct newspaper, Haveeru, from working at any other organization, saying it could only lead to authoritarianism and the end of democracy.

Benjamin Ismaïl, head of Asia-Pacific desk at the RSF, said:

The court’s verdict not only violates the fundamental rights of all the journalists which it targets, but it also confirms, if need be, that the judiciary is serving the government’s policy to suppress critical and independent media in the country.

Maldives has been ranked 112th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2015 World Press Freedom Index, after falling 60 places since 2010.


Nasheed’s Trial & Human Right Abuses


In May, European Union adopted a resolution to adopt a resolution seeking imposition of sanctions on the country, the government has hit back calling it “inappropriate” and “irresponsible”.

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The resolution was passed condemning the frequent “human rights abuses” committed during President Abdulla Yameen’s regime.

Around same time, an official fact-finding mission report prepared by the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) raised questions over the arrest of former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed saying that it was without legal basis and that he must be provided with a transparent appeal hearing.

Renowned human rights body Amnesty International termed the conviction of Nasheed after a deeply flawed and politically motivated trial is a “travesty of justice.”

The Maldives’ Story Of ‘Leave. Leaving… Left’ Commonwealth: All You Need To Know

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September 18

CHRI: The nations is sliding into a dictatorial system once again and the situation will soon push the island nation into the brink of violence and anarchy. Suspend, exclude and halt the current government.

September 23

CMAG: Deeply disappointed in lack of progress in the Maldives and now on a formal agenda and threat of suspension in March.

Ruling ‘Defamation Fame’ MP Jaufar Dawood: Commonwealth is ‘camel fart’. If we haven’t any advantage as a member of the Commonwealth, why shouldn’t we leave them?

September 25

Ruling Riyaz Rasheed: Now is the time for Maldives to leave Commonwealth. People’s Majlis would deliberate over the matter and make its decision when it re-opens.

September 27

Willy Mutunga: The country is facing severe democracy deficit.

October 6

Majlis reopens

October 13

Foreign Ministry: Maldives has decided to leave the Commonwealth.


October the 13- the day when President Abdulla Yameen-led government, taking forward its isolation policy and dictatorial behaviour, slayed 34-year-old tie with the Commonwealth. The government alleged that the group was deliberating “punitive actions” following the situation that led to ouster of former President Mohamed Nasheed in 2012. Foreign Ministry said it was “difficult, but inevitable” step as the 53-nation group has been treating the current government “unjustly and unfairly”.

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The development came weeks after the rhetoric from all the President’s men -who asked the government to flex its muscles – to leave the group after Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) put the Maldives on its formal and gave another six months time to work on the six-point threatening suspension from the group. That time, too, the ruling party MP Riyaz Rasheed indicated to “a group of individuals living in self-exile in UK” who were influencing the group’s decision.

The Foreign Ministry scuffling at the group further said that the Maldives was being used as an object for organisation’s own relevance.

(Maldives)… would be an easy object that can be used, especially in the name of democracy promotion, to increase the organisation’s own relevance and leverage in international politics

The decision to quit the Commonwealth created international furore within minutes with many expressing not just disappointment over it but also suggesting that consequential international isolation will adversely affect its citizens who are already fighting a long battle with human rights abuses, high-level corruption and crackdown on dissent.

One of the first reactions came from President Yameen’s half brother and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who has been at loggerheads with the former over a number of issues. said he was disappointed on leaving the group as he was the one who “led the country into Commonwealth”.

The 78-year-old President of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) said he was disappointed on leaving the group as he was the one who “led the country into Commonwealth” and that “isolation will not solve problems”.

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Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said members of the Commonwealth will share his sadness worldwide.

I have received news that the Maldives Government has today decided to leave the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth family at large – its member governments and its peoples worldwide – will share my sadness and disappointment at this decision.

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives James Dauris said that he was saddened by the decision.

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Former President Nasheed took social networking site Facebook to express his anger and said:

Removing the Maldives from the Commonwealth is an act of desperation by a President who doesn’t like the truth and is unwilling to be held accountable for his authoritarianism.

Internationally acclaimed human rights watchdog Amnesty International suggested that instead of lashing out at international criticism, the country should address the situation.

Instead of complaining about unfair treatment, the Maldives government should look at engaging more constructively with the international community.

Former foreign minister Ahmed Shaheed told New York Times that isolation will bring more criticism to the country.

He is getting deeper and deeper into isolation. He would think he’s insulating himself from Commonwealth criticism, but he will receive more and more.

David White, the chief of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative called October the 13th as sad day.

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Other stakeholders- MPs, journalists, politicians and activists – took Twitter to express shock and disappointment.

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The government also received flak worldwide for severing ties with Iran to become a part of the league of Sunni nations to join Saudi Arabia in setting diplomatic agenda against the country.

President Yameen is also facing in-party isolation as most of his former cabinet ministers are either jailed, a part of rainbow coalition Maldivian United Opposition (MUO), have resigned citing differences. And, most importantly from his half-brother, mentor and party chief- Maumoon Gayoom.

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Meanwhile, Boris Johnson – the Brexit rival of Nasheed’s good friend David Cameron- who is currently the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom said:

(The UK will) continue to work with the Maldives Government to help strengthen democracy, particularly freedom of speech and the media and independence of the judiciary.

Paradise For Honeymooners, Island Of Broken Marriages; Why Everyone In Maldives Is Getting Divorced?

in Lifestyle by

The Maldives- almost invisible on the world map, often ignored in world statistics for its tiny size in the vast Indian Ocean- has made it to the map, unfortunately for highest divorce rate!

Courtesy: The Telegraph


The Sunni Muslim island with just 3,45,023 population has the divorce rate of 10.97 per year per 1,000 inhabitants followed by Russia at the second spot with less than half the number of divorces as Maldives, according to a report by The Telegraph.

The number makes the Maldives enter the Guinness World Records, and according to United Nations, an average Maldivian woman has been divorced three times by the age of 30.

“The island of a thousand honeymoons. And … a thousand divorces,” writes journalist Shannon Sims calling it ‘the paradise where everyone is divorced’.

The reason, most arguably, points out to Islam, Sharia laws, stigma around sex, and sexuality of a woman.

Divorce- No Taboo!

maldives-marriage
Photo Courtesy: Kurumba

J J Robbinson, the former editor of the Maldives Independent, in his first investigative account of the everyday lives of Maldivians, writes that the country has exploited Islamic sentiments for subordinating women in the country by criminalising pre-marital sex or extramarital sex leading to higher divorce rate. “Tourists on romantic resort getaways blissfully sun themselves on beaches a few hundred feet from ‘local’ islands where Maldivian women are routinely sentenced to 100 lashes for the crime of extramarital sex,” he writes.

He cites observations made by famous Islamic explorer Ibn Battuta where he argues that in the Maldivian culture where people do not fix dowry makes it easier for them to married.

“It is easy to marry in these islands because of the smallness of the dowries and the pleasures of society which the women offer,” Battuta wrote in the 14th century. “Most people do not even fix any dowry. When the ships put in, the crew marry; when they intend to leave, they divorce their wives. This is a kind of temporary marriage (muta). I have seen nowhere in the world women whose society was more pleasant.”

And for getting divorced, a man has to say ‘I divorce you’ three times under the triple talaq Islamic law. Women, though, has to go through a legal process but interestingly there is no stigma around getting divorced, unlike pre-marital sex. “I recall one recently married fisherman boasting that his new wife had been married six times; this, he explained with a sly wink, meant she was experienced. The figure was about average for a woman in her forties,” Robbinson writes.

Patriarchy, Like Everywhere, Rules The Marriage

domestic-violence
Photo Courtesy: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Besides, the religious-cultural nexus to higher divorce rate, the much universal patriarchal mindset and the resulting sexual and domestic violence are also the reasons for the overwhelming trend.

Nearly 33 per cent women in the country are reportedly victims of sexual of physical violence and of them, nearly 20 per cent are perpetrated by their partners, and to most Maldivians it is quite acceptable or even desirable for a husband to beat his wife, or have physical or sexual supremacy.

A 29-year-old, who felt obliged to marry her boyfriend after having sex with him at the age of 15; who later became a victim of his violent nature, says as quoted by Maldives Independent,

Maldives may rank highest in the world for divorces, but at least the ease in getting a divorce ensures women or men do not stay in abusive or unhappy relationships

In December last year, the Maldives had a meltdown when a 35-year-old woman from Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo died after fighting a long battle in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Male. She was brutally raped by her husband.

Her death was followed by marches, social media activism but proved that a little has been changed since the government passed Domestic Violence Prevention Act in 2012.

Polygamy- Men’s Duty To Keep Women On Right Path

divorceIn March this year, during gender equality debate in the People’s Majlis, MP Ahmed Saleem held women responsible for infidelity and suggested that it was a man’s duty to keep them on right path.

Saleem said, ” Women drive men to mental illnesses and crime because of their infidelity. Women are fragile like glass. They can become anything if we do not know how to look after them. The prophet said if a women turns evil, she is worse than a lion… We try to guard them to reform our societies,” he continued giving example of a fellow MP who has three wives, “There is none better than Riyaz Rasheed. Look, he looks after three women to ensure that they do not stray from the right path. This is our duty.”

The PPM dominated 85-member Majlis, where there are just 5 women MPs, threw out the proposal for reserving quotas for women 36 votes that day.

Equal Pay For Equal Work, But Is It Enough?

Later in August, Social Committee of the Parliament passed the gender equality bill prohibiting gender discrimination in employment fields assuring equal pay for equal work but no effort was put in reforming social fabric of the fundamentals of Islamic ruling where death for infidelity, covert abortions to hide the “illegal” out-of-wedlock child & polygamy are rampant.

Former State Minister for Gender and Family, Haala Hameed speculates that more women entering workforce is also one of the reasons for higher divorce- as there is no basic childcare facility and working women are often seen negatively causing tension withing families leading to higher divorce rate.

‘Leave Commonwealth Before It Suspends Maldives’ : All The President’s Men

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After Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) put the Maldives on its formal agenda and gave another six months time to work on the six-point agenda threatening suspension from the group, the rhetoric within the government is to flex its muscles and leave the group instead of bowing down.

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However, the People’s Majlis is yet to deliberate on the matter and decision is likely to be taken when it reopens.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Vilufushi MP Riyaz Rasheed was among many other MPs who demanded the same after the group in a highly critical report after a meeting on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) threatened suspension by March next year.

Rasheed declared that “now is the time for Maldives to leave Commonwealth, and that People’s Majlis would deliberate over the matter and make its decision when it re-opens,” Sun Online reported.

Another MP, often known for his outspoken attitude, Riyaz  said that even President Abdulla Yameen is in favour of leaving Commonwealth and asked for advice from Majlis .

Alleging that the decisions of CMAG was influenced by “a group of individuals living in self-exile in UK”, Riyaz said that the time of leave Commonwealth has come.

Defamation bill fame MP Jaufar Dawood, in a reply to a Twitter user said that the Maldives was not getting any benefits from the Commonwealth and so the country should not be “afraid” to leave the group.

He, further, went on to continue with his opinion and rather offensive and compared the group to “camel fart”.

CMAG took its decision on the basis of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s (CHRI) report which said that the situation in the Maldives is sliding to dictatorship and if the situation continues the island nation will be on the brink of violence and anarchy.

Maldives Faces Threat Of Suspension From Commonwealth, Now On Formal Agenda By CMAG

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The Commonwealth in its 49th meeting on Tuesday in New York on the sidelines of the 27th United Nations General Assembly concluded that the group is “deeply disappointed in lack of progress in the Maldives and now on a formal agenda and threat of suspension in March.”

In a two-page report, the CMAG expressed deep disappointment in lack of progress in the priority areas identified in April this year and said,

Ministers expressed deep concern over lack of progress in the progress areas that they earlier identified, and therefore placed Maldives on CMAG’s formal agenda. Ministers agreed that in the absence of substantive progress across the priority areas, the group would consider its options, including suspension from the Council of the Commonwealth, at its next meeting in March next year.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Asim and Attorney General Mohamed Anil were also present in the meeting.

The group also asked that both government and opposition to hold dialogue and underlined that the it should be done with full participation and without pre-condition.

The group also addressed the issue of Presidential election due in 2018 and assured a conductive environment for “credible and inclusive” election.

The meeting was held after the review of the situation in the Maldives last week by the human rights wing of the Commonwealth, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), which in its report to the CMAG, asked suspension of the Maldives from the group concluding that the island nation is sliding to dictatorship and if the situation continues it will be on the “brink of violence and anarchy.”

CHRI expressed grave concern on government failing to comply with the six-point agenda and said, “These actions not only signal the government’s unwillingness to initiate political dialogue, but also indicate that the government is taking steps to actively impede and obstruct any kind of political dialogue. There is clearly no intention on the part of the government to find a political solution.”

Besides, a critical report on the “dictatorial” functioning of the government, CHRI also gave legitimacy to the most important developments that are most likely to help in the expected ouster of President Abdulla Yameen.


Here’s All You Need To Know About The CHRI Report


Maldives United Opposition (MUO)

MUO 1 (3)


The CHRI said in its report that it was the formation of the rainbow coalition Maldives United Opposition (MUO), a united coalition of the previous rivals against President Yameen that showed his unpopularity among his former allies.

“MUO brings together former allies of President Yameen, such as the Adhaalath Party and jailed Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, together with the largest political party, the Maldives Democratic Party, is a sign of growing unpopularity of the present administration,” the report said.

Stealing Paradise By Al Jazeera

stealing paradise


The group also acknowledged the allegations of corruption on President Yameen by Al Jazeera and criticised the government for not initiating any concrete investigations into the cases.

“(We) express concern about the mounting allegations of corruption against officials at the highest political level. The release of “Stealing Paradise”, a documentary by Qatar based Al Jazeera reveals the involvement of President Yameen and his deputies in massive theft and money laundering,” the report said.
“The government has not shown any inclination to investigate these very serious allegations and bring the perpetrators to account. The total lack of accountability combined with the rollback of constitutional rights and democratic norms has led to deep frustration and disillusionment among the people of the Maldives,” it added.

The 2018 Presidential Election

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The CHRI concluded that if the current scenario continues, the Maldives will not have free and fair Presidential elections due in 2018 and called for a “firm action” by the Commonwealth.

“CHRI strongly believes that the current environment is not at all conducive to free and fair presidential elections due in 2018. In fact, the nation is sliding into a dictatorial system once again. CHRI is worried that, if allowed to continue, the situation will soon push the island nation into the brink of violence and anarchy.”

The Recommendations

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In the strongly worded report, the CHRI asked Commonwealth to “suspend”, “exclude” and “halt” the current government.

“SUSPEND Maldives from the Councils of the Commonwealth, which will EXCLUDE the government of the Maldives from all Commonwealth inter government meetings and events, including ministerial meetings and CHOGM; HALT all Commonwealth technical assistance, other than the mandate of the Special Envoy.”

CMAG Meets On The Sidelines Of UNGA To Discuss ‘Deteriorating Human Rights And Democracy’ In Maldives

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Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has taken up the issue of the Maldives in New York on Friday on the sidelines of the ongoing 27th United Nations General Assembly to discuss the  deteriorating human rights and democracy as the Yameen government failed to fix the six priorities areas set by them in April this year.

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The Human Rights wing of the group- Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) asked the CMAG to suspend the country from the councils of Commonwealth after reviewing the situation in the Maldives last week.

Concluding that the Maldives is “sliding to dictatorship” and “the situation will soon push the island nation on the brink of violence and anarchy”, the CHRI expressed grave concern on government failing to comply with the six-point agenda and said

“These actions not only signal the government’s unwillingness to initiate political dialogue, but also indicate that the government is taking steps to actively impede and obstruct any kind of political dialogue. There is clearly no intention on the part of the government to find a political solution.”

Besides, a critical report on the “dictatorial” functioning of the government, CHRI also gave legitimacy to the most important developments that are most likely to help in the expected ouster of President Abdulla Yameen.


Here’s All You Need To Know


Maldives United Opposition (MUO)

MUO 1 (3)


The CHRI said in its report that it was the formation of the rainbow coalition Maldives United Opposition (MUO), a united coalition of the previous rivals against President Yameen that showed his unpopularity among his former allies.

“MUO brings together former allies of President Yameen, such as the Adhaalath Party and jailed Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, together with the largest political party, the Maldives Democratic Party, is a sign of growing unpopularity of the present administration,” the report said.

Stealing Paradise By Al Jazeera

stealing paradise


The group also acknowledged the allegations of corruption on President Yameen by Al Jazeera and criticised the government for not initiating any concrete investigations into the cases.

“(We) express concern about the mounting allegations of corruption against officials at the highest political level. The release of “Stealing Paradise”, a documentary by Qatar based Al Jazeera reveals the involvement of President Yameen and his deputies in massive theft and money laundering,” the report said.
“The government has not shown any inclination to investigate these very serious allegations and bring the perpetrators to account. The total lack of accountability combined with the rollback of constitutional rights and democratic norms has led to deep frustration and disillusionment among the people of the Maldives,” it added.

The 2018 Presidential Election

election


The CHRI concluded that if the current scenario continues, the Maldives will not have free and fair Presidential elections due in 2018 and called for a “firm action” by the Commonwealth.

“CHRI strongly believes that the current environment is not at all conducive to free and fair presidential elections due in 2018. In fact, the nation is sliding into a dictatorial system once again. CHRI is worried that, if allowed to continue, the situation will soon push the island nation into the brink of violence and anarchy.”

The Recommendations

chri


In the strongly worded report, the CHRI asked Commonwealth to “suspend”, “exclude” and “halt” the current government.

“SUSPEND Maldives from the Councils of the Commonwealth, which will EXCLUDE the government of the Maldives from all Commonwealth inter government meetings and events, including ministerial meetings and CHOGM; HALT all Commonwealth technical assistance, other than the mandate of the Special Envoy.”

From MUO To Stealing Paradise To 2018 Presidential Election: All You Need To Know About CHRI Report

in News/Politics by

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), which was here in the Maldives to follow up on Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) six point agenda set in April, asked the latter to suspend the country from the councils of Commonwealth after concluding that the Maldives is “sliding to dictatorship” and “the situation will soon push the island nation on the brink of violence and anarchy”.

chri

The group expressed grave concern on government failing to comply with the six-point agenda and said, “These actions not only signal the government’s unwillingness to initiate political dialogue, but also indicate that the government is taking steps to actively impede and obstruct any kind of political dialogue. There is clearly no intention on the part of the government to find a political solution.”

Besides, a critical report on the “dictatorial” functioning of the government, CHRI also gave legitimacy to the most important developments that are most likely to help in the expected ouster of President Abdulla Yameen.


Here’s All You Need To Know


Maldives United Opposition (MUO)

MUO 1 (3)


The CHRI said in its report that it was the formation of the rainbow coalition Maldives United Opposition (MUO), a united coalition of the previous rivals against President Yameen that showed his unpopularity among his former allies.

“MUO brings together former allies of President Yameen, such as the Adhaalath Party and jailed Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, together with the largest political party, the Maldives Democratic Party, is a sign of growing unpopularity of the present administration,” the report said.

Stealing Paradise By Al Jazeera

stealing paradise


The group also acknowledged the allegations of corruption on President Yameen by Al Jazeera and criticised the government for not initiating any concrete investigations into the cases.

“(We) express concern about the mounting allegations of corruption against officials at the highest political level. The release of “Stealing Paradise”, a documentary by Qatar based Al Jazeera reveals the involvement of President Yameen and his deputies in massive theft and money laundering,” the report said.
“The government has not shown any inclination to investigate these very serious allegations and bring the perpetrators to account. The total lack of accountability combined with the rollback of constitutional rights and democratic norms has led to deep frustration and disillusionment among the people of the Maldives,” it added.

The 2018 Presidential Election

election


The CHRI concluded that if the current scenario continues, the Maldives will not have free and fair Presidential elections due in 2018 and called for a “firm action” by the Commonwealth.

“CHRI strongly believes that the current environment is not at all conducive to free and fair presidential elections due in 2018. In fact, the nation is sliding into a dictatorial system once again. CHRI is worried that, if allowed to continue, the situation will soon push the island nation into the brink of violence and anarchy.”

The Recommendations

chri


In the strongly worded report, the CHRI asked Commonwealth to “suspend”, “exclude” and “halt” the current government.

“SUSPEND Maldives from the Councils of the Commonwealth, which will EXCLUDE the government of the Maldives from all Commonwealth inter government meetings and events, including ministerial meetings and CHOGM; HALT all Commonwealth technical assistance, other than the mandate of the Special Envoy.”

Maldives Sliding To Dictatorship, On The Brink Of Violence & Anarchy; Finds Commonwealth

in News/Politics by

When in April, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) decided not to put the Maldives on its agenda, both the government and the former claimed victory.

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CMAG, a New Delhi based watchdog, in its concluding statement then made no mention of the phrase “formal agenda,” but called for “clear, measurable progress” by September.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) accredited to the 53-member inter-governmental body, which was in the archipelago to review the situation said the nations is “sliding into a dictatorial system once again” and expresses grave concern over the corruption, human rights violations and crackdown on dissent saying that the situation will soon push the island nation into the “brink of violence and anarchy”.

“(We express) grave apprehension at the continuing and persistent deterioration of human rights, rule of law and democracy in the Maldives. There has been a steady deterioration since CMAG’s last meeting in April 2016,” the group said concluding that the current environment is not at all “conducive” to free and fair presidential elections due in 2018.

“Events and developments on the ground give further evidence of curbing fundamental rights, targeted persecution of opposition leaders, misuse of state institutions (including the judiciary, legislature and the police) to restrict, crush and punish dissent, stifling political debate, and crippling independent institutions,” the group added.

The group also hits out at the government for not “engaging seriously” with rights group like CHRI or Human Rights to implement reforms that will strengthen democratic institutions and enable realization of fundamental rights.

The group of ministers also expressed worry over the six priorities areas that the group had identified in February this year and said that the government has failed to make progress on those. CHRI will further review the progress made in these areas in their next meeting on September 23.

#NameThatPolice: Maldivians In A Virtual War With Police “Brutality”

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Independence Day had a dichotomous ending with a silent protest by journalists and arrests of at least six persons including Raajje TV COO Hussain Fiyaz, journalist at Sun Online, Ahmed Azif,  scholar Hussen Rasheed among others.

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But, this is not the first time when such alleged “arbitrary” arrests were made and people’s movement, gathering and activities were halted.

Manhandling and use of pepper spray by police were widely reported in past few days especially every Friday during at Islamic Center for prayers.

Last Friday, three men were arrested by police including the former national football team captain, Ahmed Assad and a member of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the crowd was pepper sprayed which lead to hospitalisation of MDP MP Ali Nizar.

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Recently at MDP Anniversary rally, MP Rozaina Adam alleged manhandling by a female police officer.

Heavy presence of police at every gathering is not a rare sight in the Maldives. International watchdogs and European Union continue to criticise crackdown on dissent severely.

Amid the continuing human rights abuse in the country, Maldivians took Twitter to take a stand against the police “brutality” using #NameThatPolice and claimed that if they identified the policemen involved in violence, they would file a complaint against them with National Integrity Commission (NIC).


A Virtual War Between Police And Maldivians


Twitter’s In Meltdown Over Govt’s Decision To Implement Death Penalty By Hanging

in News/Politics by

The government has decided to implement death penalty in the Maldives by hanging. Earlier, they wanted lethal injection for the same but faced issues incorporating one.

Home Minister Umar Naseer made the announcement on Friday stating that the government has made all the arrangements to implement death penalty by hanging.

As soon as the news broke out, people started venting out their anger over the decision on micro-blogging site Twitter, while some have been opposing the move since a long time.

Here are some of the reactions on implementing the death penalty in the Maldives:

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