HRCM congratulates parliament for passing Anti-torture bill, calls for president to ratify

The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) has congratulated the parliament for passing the Anti-torture Act [Dhivehi] which criminalises torture.

The act guarantees freedom from torture as a fundamental right of every individual even in circumstances of war or imminent war.

The HRCM has now called upon  President Abdulla Yameen to ratify it. The commission noted that the bill was passed including 17 of the 21 recommendations it had made.

Meeting with Yameen today, members of the commission received assurances of governmental support for their work after sharing details of the challenges they currently face.

The commission’s recently released benchmark guidelines for the protection of migrant workers was warmly received by state departments.

The Anti-Torture Act declares freedom from torture as a fundamental right, penalises torture, ensures respect for human rights of criminal suspects, and prohibits torture in state custody, detention in undisclosed locations, and solitary confinement.

According to the bill, any confession gained through the use of torture should be deemed invalid by the courts.

The new law defines torture as any action committed by a state official, or committed with the orders, consent or knowledge of a state official to cause physical or psychological pain to obtain information or a confession or to inflict punishment or to threaten or humiliate an individual.