Jumhooree Party (JP) MP Ibrahim Muthalib has resubmitted an amendment to the Clemency Act that if passed would require any death sentence then upheld by the Supreme Court to be carried out.
Muthalib is the second MP to table a motion to change the Clemency Act after the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Ahmed Rasheed last month forwarded similar amendments. Rasheed later withdrew these amendments from parliament though over concerns about the need for new regulations like the Penal Code to be passed.
Currently, death penalties imposed within the Maldives are able to be reduced to a 25 years prison sentence by the president under the Clemency Act. In November 2010, the Criminal Court of the Maldives issued a death sentence to a person found guilty of murder. However the last person to actually be judicially executed was Hakim Didi in 1953, who was executed by firing squad after being found guilty of consipiracy to murder using black magic.
MP Muthalib told Minivan News that the purpose of the latest amendment was to uphold Islamic Shariah in the Maldives.
”[The amendment aims] to avoid human beings from changing the verdict determined by Islamic Shariah,” said Muthalib. ”Its the same bill as presented last time.”
If the amendment gets passed, the president would not then have the authority to grant clemency on persons found guilty of murder, according to the parliamentarian.
The amended bill has been introduced in the parliament and now awaits a preliminary debate by members.
Early last month, MDP MP Ahmed Rasheed presented an amendment to the Clemency Act during a parliamentary session that required the death penalty to be administered without fail in cases where the sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court.
According to MP Rasheed’s proposed amendment, if the Supreme Court upholds a death penalty ruled by any court in the land, a sentence of execution will be required to be conducted.
The MP said he felt he had to present the amendment because of the increase in assaults and murder cases, which had “forced the living to live amid fear and threats.
In 2010, Rasheed said that 423 cases of assault were sent to Prosecutor General, with 454 cases in 2009 and 104 reported during 2008.
After the preliminary debate was concluded and he was given the opportunity to say the last word on the amendment, Rasheed withdrew the changes he had originally submitted to parliament.
The MDP MP said he withdrew the amendment because other necessary bills related to gang violence such as the Penal Code and Criminal Justice Procedure Bill had yet to be passed.
According to Rasheed, after these bills were passed, he will then re-submit the amendment.