“A Human Rights Crisis in the Maldives”: Amnesty International

Amnesty International has today released a report titled “The Other side of Paradise: A Human Rights Crisis in the Maldives”, chronicling human rights abuses in the country since the transfer of presidential power on February 7.

“Without an end to – and accountability for – these human rights violations, any attempt at political reconciliation in the Maldives will be meaningless,” said Amnesty’s researcher in the Maldives, Abbas Faiz.

Amnesty said that several of its human rights recommendations are reflected in the Commission of National Inquiry’s (CNI) report which was released on August 30.

The report details a number of incidents of police brutality on February 8, including attacks on Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs Eva Abdulla and Mariya Didi.

“The overall objective of these violent attacks has been to silence peaceful government critics and stifle public debate about the current political situation,” said the report.

“Based on Amnesty International’s interviews with survivors of these violent attacks, it appears that many were targeted by security forces because they were MDP ministers, parliamentarians or supporters,” it read.

The report recommended that the Maldivian government “ensure prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations into allegations of violence by officials.”

“Those suspected of offences involving such violations, irrespective of rank or status, must be prosecuted in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness.”

It also urged the government to “remove any bias in the police force, so they act as officers of law without prejudice, and do not take sides politically.”

Tension between the police has continued unabated since the release of the CNI report, with continued MDP demonstrations being met with large numbers of arrests.

The police service last week confirmed that they would be arresting people for using the term ‘baghee’ (a Dhivehi word meaning a traitor who brought about or participated in a coup).

The report is based largely on the testimony of individuals interviews conducted during a three week Amnesty visit in February and early March this year.

Commissioner of Police  Abdulla Riyaz, who was unavailable for comment at the time of press, told Minivan News in April that he had been disappointed by Amnesty’s failure to ask the police for its comments before releasing a report based on its findings.

“I don’t see that there has been any investigations done, none of our officers was questioned, interviewed – neither by them nor by the Police Integrity Commission (PIC), nor by the Human Rights Commission (HRCM). I don’t think that’s fair,” said Riyaz.

Strong pressure on weak institutions

As well as concluding that President Mohamed Nasheed was not removed from office unconstitutionally, the CNI report acknowledged that his resignation was accompanied by acts of police brutality which it said must be investigated.

“With respect to the administration of justice, in particular concerning allegations of police brutality and acts of intimidation, there is an urgent need for investigations to proceed and to be brought to public knowledge with perpetrators held to account and appropriately sanctioned,” read the report.

Shortly after the report’s release, the Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed told a press conference that the government did not intend to take action against anyone other than the former President in relation to the CNI’s conclusions.

Jameel stated the responsibility for the investigation of police misconduct would fall upon the Police Integrity Commission (PIC).

This has prompted renewed focus on the apparent weakness of such independent institutions in the Maldives.

“One of the reasons for the 7 February and the associated crisis is weak institutions, and the democratic institutions in Maldives must shoulder at least some of the blame for not being pro-active enough in working to address urgent issues,” said Aiman Rasheed of local NGO Transparency Maldives.

“Providing room for institutions to grow organically, and address institutional issues in an environment free from fear and intimidation from the political overlords is more important for Maldives at the moment,” Aiman continued.

“The independent institutions need to step up their game by standing for and protecting the values for which they were constituted,” he said.

Following Jameels announcement, Chair of the PIC Shahinda Ismail said that she was “very sceptical of the burden we will have to carry”, citing concerns over the lack of clarity in the CNI report and loopholes which prevent the implementation of its recommendations.

Shahinda alleged that certain clauses in the Police Act had already resulted in the Home Minister ignoring recommendations forwarded to him concerning incidents from February 8.

Similarly, a Supreme Court ruling concerning the activities of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) earlier this week appeared to the leave this institution in a state of limbo.

“In other countries, Anti Corruption Commissions have the powers of investigation, prevention and creating awareness. If an institution responsible for fighting corruption does not have these powers then it is useless,” said ACC President Hassan Luthfee.

Weak institutions have often been described by prominent members of the current government as rendering the country unready for early elections despite months of political stultification.

“Tighter legislation that addresses ambiguities and close legal loopholes will help. However, the political will to truly reform key institutions is lacking, especially the judiciary and the parliament,” said Aiman.

The final recommendation of Amnesty’s report was directed at the international community, requesting that it provide human rights training to the Maldives’judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials.

In April, the United States pledged US$500,000 (Rf7.7 million) to assist Maldivian institutions in ensuring a free and fair presidential election.

The American Embassy in Colombo also conducted an information session on democratic rule of law for senior officers and management of the police service in May.


28 thoughts on ““A Human Rights Crisis in the Maldives”: Amnesty International”

  1. Good. It is high time that we did away with the bid'ah of human rights and instead began to enforce human obligations, as codified in the shari'ah.

    Certainly we should not let human rights discourses in the West prevent us from meting out the required punishments for religious heretics and sexual degenerates. Nor for all others who have failed their obligation towards civilisation, religion and virtue.

    No to human rights. Yes to virtue. A virtuous womb will beget virtuous offspring.

  2. Verily - A virtuous womb will beget virtuous offspring.

    So dose a half sized "pick" -

    It can only beget half minded off springs!

    Verily - A "pick" will always be a "pick"!

  3. Hurrah! Long live Amnesty international.

    What a timely appearance of this hallowed institution with its published report in the Maldives entitled “The Other side of Paradise: A Human Rights Crisis in the Maldives”.

    I’m really sorry folks, I have missed something here. Can someone direct me to the report that Amnesty International published when 1. The Maldivian Govt moved to arrest leaders of political parties without due process. I also cannot find the report of the Amnesty International’s report when 2. The parliament was stymied by MDP thugs. Nor can I find the report by the Amnesty International published on 3. The prevailing situation in Maldives when President Nasheed was busy instilling fear in politicians and business leaders of the country. Nor can I find the Amnesty International publish its report on the Maldives when 4. The Executive during President Nasheed’s presidency took the law into his own hands arresting a sitting judge, and ignoring the judiciary completely including the Supreme Court of Maldives.

    Please can somebody direct me to the above 4 reports of the Amnesty International that I have missed, for my personal edification.

    Also can somebody point to me one country in the whole wide world where the Anti-Corruption Commission of the country has the last word above the Supreme Court of the land?

    Where in the world is the Anti-Corruption Commission the investigator, the judge and the executioner? – with no course to remedy in law against the Anti-Corruption Commission.

    Indeed the birth pangs of democracy are long and hard. Those most suffering are simple people like you and me.

    Please do give us a break.

  4. @Dhivehi Hanguraama

    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a kind generous man who stood up for the rights of people, women and even slaves through the message of Islam

    Islam is meant to be powerful, intellectual and a blessing to humanity, not a burden, like you seem to make it

    And for you to make Islam seem so hideous makes you a heretic yourself.

    Go back to pakistan and go hide in a cave with your tribe of barbarians.

  5. where was the human rights when there were thousands of people got murdered by extremist budhist in Myanamar just few months back ?

    Why UN human right commission was gave a blind eye on to that issue ? is that because to was targeted to Muslim community in Myanmar ?

    Complete negligence of human rights issues and mass killing in Myanmar proves that these human right organization are not really interested in " human rights in Maldives" and there is some other hidden agenda by them.

  6. Stop your nonsense about sharia. We are a country of young, hopeful and liberal people. We will have a strong democratic system based on the principles of UDHR..REligious mullahs can go back to Afghanistan

  7. Dhi Hanguraama you are right
    delusional terrorist like you Ofcourse never heard of human rights, all they know is BIDA'A,
    let me give u a lesson in sheen pal:
    ،المسلم على المسلم حرام،دمه وماله وعرضه
    how can u be a Muslim and you advocate anarchy, and sectorial violence, let alone, commetting the KUBRA'
    (تكفير)، some claimed!!!!
    Islam is innocent of you claims Munafiq,
    Allah will bring you down on your nose in the heat of hell fire before you claim a lie from him,,, shush!!

    If any one Muslim, calls his brother a non Muslim, without proof, (دليل) , he will be a non Muslim!!! it's not a joke, or a delusional act to say it, let alone act upon it,,,,
    hell awaits you, ,, go and ask ALLAH for forgiveness!!!

  8. I'd love, support ANY Maldivian Politician who stands up for genuine human rights, be it Waheed, Anni, Maumoon, Abdullah Yameen Abdul-Gayoom, but I'm not holding my breath with anticipation for a hero to come along anytime soon, that's for sure.

  9. Maryam.

    We also have the same right as you and you can not ask everyone to leave this country ?

    I don't care what international human rights says knowing that these so called " Human rights" have not even raise a single voice against the mass killing happened in Myanmar.? Was that mass killing was not on Animal ? Are those religious cleaning is acceptable and as per the international standard ?

    Maryam. People like you who may not believe our religion will agree on that and 99% of Maldivian will not agree with you.

    People like you are behind the cult Anni and suggest you to Afghan with your dictator Anni not us.

  10. @Maryam Naisha

    You are a country of degenerates. Of fools who mock religion and its scholars. Of unveiled women who strut around in public, neglecting their duties of marriage and childbearing.

    You are not Maldivians but MalDeviants.

    The remedy to irreligiosity and rampant harlotry do not lie in the ramblings of women.

    Nor in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a cursed document that paves roads towards apostasy, sexual deviancy and immodest women.

    It lies in the holy book of God and the words of his final messenger.

    And in the scripts of the Ulammah of the great Madhabs of Islam. Of which the Hanbali madh'ab is the greatest and purest (save for their unwarranted hostility towards Marja Ayatullah Khomeini, may his name ever be praised).

  11. I support human rights in all countries but this is ridiculous. Abbas Faiz is a hypocrite for him to say all this now.

    As Ah mad says where was he all this time? Where was he when a sitting judge was kidnapped? Where was he when MDP held up the Parliament, where was he when two MPs were arrested without a warrant?

    The problem is that he is very friendly with Farahnaz Faisal and this is her doing. It is extremely unfortunate that he has been taken in by all this stuff.
    Sure nothing is hunky dory and this administration has to investigate the activities of the Police brutality on the 8th Feb but to say that there has been major human rights violations by the Police is an outright lie.
    MDP, has been staging these Photo opportunities of getting arrested and then they edit the photos and send to Human Rights Watch selecting only the ones they want to send. This fools these people like Abbas Faiz into thinking like this. The pictures they send do not show the intense provocation by the MDP or the violence they create.
    MDP has created more violence in these 4 years than anyone else has created in their entire lifetime in Maldives.

  12. still amazed at how many replies this dhivehi hanguraama guy gets for his rants! ppl still do not get the concept of asymetric warfare! this dhivehi hanguraama guy is here only to portray islam in negative light. Thats all, but lots of people still try to lecture him about common sense. This guy needs not common sense. he is above it all and made up his mind to stay in kufr. There are two types of kaafirs in general. the ones who do not fight islam and the ones who will. this hanguraama guy is of the later type but asymetrically.

  13. The Buddhist majority of Myanmar do not consider the Rohingya Muslims as citizens. whilst it is morally disgusting to read the security services stood by and watched their slaughter, I imagine people like Dhivehi Hanguraama would stand idly by if any non-muslim Maldivians were being slaughtered.
    Fortunately there are no non-Muslim Maldivians so it's not likely, but he'd do the same for the non-fanatics too.

    Tolerance people. We all need more of it.

  14. The God is human rights, if there is no human rights, the whole purpose of God are meaningless. like any other living creature Human being are borne free, slavery is human made concept to control the resources and nature’s bounty so they can be limited to those who are criminals and are capable of killing, looting, and raping. Those who reject human rights under disguise of religions are selfish weak people who are not so powerful enough to control people by unleashing wars; these people create gods and use them to instill fear among people by threatening hell fire and force people to submit to authority of some imaginary things that is more like sadist human criminal their whole purpose is to use average person as a salve to be controlled by the wills of such criminals. They all have political goal to be influential in the society so that they can satisfy their natural desires at the cost of others. If you analyze such people they would never have contributed anything for the cause to alleviate human suffering. They are basically some subhuman without any conscience. The best religion is human rights if we can make people to respect and honor human rights the whole purpose of life is accomplished.

  15. I think "ah mad" is right. Amnesty should conduct human rights investigations into all the violations of human rights when President Nasheed was in power as well. An indepth investigation especially is required on the arrest of Judge Abdullah. It would be very enlightening for all of us to see just how many people's rights the Judge had violated before his rights were violated. Then of course he should be punished for his violations, just as President Nasheed is to be punished for violating the rights of the judge. And investigations should also be made into why President Nasheed arrested cetain political parties without the due process. Who knows this might actually reveal why these political leaders were arrested and also aid in proving if they actually have millions hidden away somwehere and also if indeed the judicial system in this country is as corrupt as they say. Yep, bring it on, we need all the investigations possible to see who is actually telling the truth, who is lying, who has abused other's rights and who's rights have been abused.

  16. Amnesty international didn't care about myanmar's slaughter of thousands of muslims? My god! Must be some sort of......Zionist conspiracy!

    Also @Myanmar...there are no non-muslim maldivians? Really? I know a lot myself, and I'm not one either. However, before you go all Azima on me, let me remind you, the government of the maldives had something very different to say when asked about the clause of citizenship and being muslim.

  17. We all are born as human first; as we grow our brains are conditioned through influence of society to believe and act differently. What about the tribes who live in Amazon Jungle and sub-Saharan Africa. They have no religion and god can’t reach there and they are better of being born as human without being influenced by greed and nationalism. If some violates human rights in one part of the world it doesn’t give license for us condone and justify our own acts at home. If Myanmar is killing some people they are killing human being why we call them Muslims. Religion divides human race and this proves that religions didn’t come from the creator, why the creator has created human as human and send some rubbish to divide them very simple logic, the more simple the more difficult to understand.

  18. Maryam, you seem to have no clue about how democracy works.
    Yes everything should be investigated including violations during Gayoom's time. Yes Abdulla should also be investigated but in a democracy there i a correct way to do it.
    The Parliament is elected by the people and if they decide not to do anything about it then there is nothing much that can be done.
    No one can break the law.
    That is why military coups are condemned all over the World when they topple a democracy no matter how corrupt that government is.
    So if anyone is to blame for all this fiasco in Maldives, it is the majority of the electorate of Maldives, who elect incompetent people to the Parliament.

  19. Some people making comment really contradict themselves telling Amnesty to keep their opinions out of the Maldives, then in the next sentence question why they have not done anything about Rohingyas in Myanmar. Lets extend this question why hasn't anything been done about the Rohingya population in Bangladesh either or the displaced people in Pakistan and India who aren't recognised by their countries. The truth about Myanmar is that Amnesty doesnt have access to the closed areas of that country to interview victims and write a valid report, whereas there are plenty of Maldivians accessible to discuss their treatment by the state.You either want international representation or you don't you cant tell them to investigate other countries without complying with basic human rights yourself.

  20. Similarly, a Supreme Court ruling concerning the activities of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) earlier this week appeared to the leave this institution in a state of limbo.
    Amazing that Human rights watch Dog never seen ACC abuse immigration officers and techinical team and Sh Ilyas and even they used media propaganda to spread fake and abuse stories which this is the way how to ACt ACC ..
    They can't 3 to 5 hours in small room alone air condition 18c and sometimes abuse in questions and will force to put jail and no answer ... These are abuse cases by ACC the lost everywhere bec of they use more power than their ACt..
    Where is Human Rights check ACC tape records and investigates how they abuse Immigration staffs and why they written a fake report for public and fake documents with AG in Court ..

    If they have power how ACC will act I think they will use more power than now they will think .. Without court order went some staffs houses so on .. Abuse cases

  21. Sadly I agree with ah mad and jameel.

    In this particular case Amnesty International has gone beyond being biased to acting as a mouthpiece for a single political party in the Maldives.

    Institutions like Amnesty should act for the benefit of the local population in a country.

    They should have highlighted these issues from day one when Nasheed took power. There are reported instances (published in Democracy Network) where the security forces under Nasheed had used excessive force to quell anti-government protests in Kulhudhuffushi. There were also several arrests made in the Nasheed regime early this year. Amnesty, by being obviously silent during these incidents have exposed them to well-founded accusations of bias.

    Very disappointed.

  22. @tsk tsk, you are fighting a loosing battle.. you tried to cover up Evan Naseem's killing by Gayoom regime and other atrocities, the world will find out and you will be on trial with Gayoom at the Hague soon.

  23. The Hague? My god!

    First, I have no idea what you are referring to. How could an anonymous commentator have played a role in "covering up" anyone's death?

    Second, if you are referring to the International Criminal Court then please spend some time to read up on their mandate and record.

    Whoever it is that you are accusing for the death of a convict under custody during the now-infamous prison riot cannot just be dragged to the ICC on a leash based upon accusations. Also the slow-moving court is used to look into gross violations of rights involving casualties in large numbers.

  24. Found all of the reflections about humanity and religion to be very enlightening, thankyou to all those above commentors for your insightful reflections. I have learnt some great things through you guys.

    Indeed, the sanctity of humanity, of human dignity, is paramount.

    Humanistic thinking is in fact a product of Ancient Greek philosophy, revived by the early Muslim philosophers and through them, the essence of the 'rennaisance.

    Socrates asked, is something right because it is right in itself, or is it right because a God or Gods said it is right.

    Is the criteria for judging what is right or wrong the wellbeing of humankind or the happiness of a Deity? Or are they compatible, but we just don't always think God's way is the best because we are merely human beings whose wisdom is vastly inferior to God's?

    Is the knoweldge of right or wrong ascertained through the use of reason or religion.

    Most people possibly have mixed views on these questions. They are questions which deal with differing estimations of human nature, different slants on the meaning of human dignity, the role of religion, the correct way to approach the understanding of religion, of knowledge and of many other things.

    Indeed, it does seem that to love humanity or to do anything for justice or compassion motivated by any cause other than love of humanity itself, is to do good from a corrupt intention. To do what is right out of fear of a God's punishment, or out of desire for a Heavenly reward, is a less pure motive than pure love for humanity itself.

    Love is its own reward, ideally.

    The dignity of the human being is eloquently expressed in the concept that each human is an end in themself. This idea is the key theme in the humanistic philosophy which guides a lot of thought about what we call human rights.

    Most Western Countries, whilst they pay lip service to this beautiful concept, do not uphold this principle of a human being an end in themself, as, it is business interest which drives most Governments. For businesses, the end is profit, and humans are exploited as means to that end. The game of the pursuit of profit has benefitted immensely from religious ideas as well, mostly unintentionally.

    Attempts to undo this paradox of the actual social implication of this philosophy of the individual have failed. Most attempts, hyper nationalism on one side and Communism on the other, have seen human beings end up as means to the end of a power hungry, tyrannical, corrupt State.

    Perhaps the only political philsophy which comes anywhere near being close to the realization of this ideal is philosophical anarchism. Before Communism in Russia this concept was experiminted with in Russia by nihilists, liberty through the annihilation of all values which mask power. It was a disaster.

    The ideal behind human rights must always be aspired towards, yet, for some reason, the goal remains elusive. It is easy to give up on the goal believing it is nonsense, and buy into hedonism, amorality.

    This is where my personal belief in some form of after life, or God like concept comes in.

    Without going into detail, I believe that the concept of a higher power who ultimately works everything out for good in the end, is the only hope of the ultimate realization of the ideals of humanity there is for me.

    Yes, I see the pain, the death, the suffering, and I say, there cannot possibly be any such thing as a God. Yet then again, something inside me refuses to believe that suffering, cruelty, injustice, tyranny, sickness and death has the last word in this Universe. In my deepest pain, the pain of my resistance of this dark perception of reality is coming from somewhere, though it can not be coming from my natural observation. My natural observation tells me that death and futility has the last word. I can't believe this, I can not, it is too unfair! It is too painful, something inside me resists it! There must be justice in the end, though not on this Earth, it must be realized elsewhere.

    I think, that, this hope is truly a great source of contentment, happiness and pleasure for a person who has been a good person Her whole life, and is struck down with severe cancer. Or someone who loses a beautiful child, for no good reason, in tragic, extremely painful, devastating circumstances. I would not take this hope away from anyone.

    This use of religion, comfort for the sick who can never be cured, or hope for happiness for those whose pain can never be removed through all of the wealth and power in the world, is something sacred, and is a great trasure.

    Belief is sometimes the tool of tyrants. Yet it is also the treasure of those who have lost a loved one.

    I would not impose religion by force if I had the choice, nor allow it to be used as a weapon to feed the power hunger of tyrants if I could help it, nor would I ridicule religion or prevent people from having it.

  25. DEAR ME!! I just read my above comment. It was smashed out in such a mad rush that the English, the grammar is disgusting! Commas where full stops should be, their instead of there, has instead of have, WOW! When one part of my brain is fired up, the other part must switch off?

    Here are a few urgently needed corrections...

    ...or Gods "say" it is right.

    ..."as" an end in themself...

    ...sickness and death "have" the last word...

    ...death and futility "have" the last word...

  26. amnesty is biased and it is proven with their action for last two years.

    There was no concern what so ever from this people when police used the water cannon against the people during Anni regime which was the direct order came from Anni.

    They were silent when private media was physically attacked and damaged by Anni mobs ?

    When people were arrested without going through any legal procedures ?

    When Anni openly threaten the people to join his party and if not he will show his evil side for those who are not MDP members.

    Amnesty never concern about the mass killing happened and happening in Myanmar ?

    All these proves that these people have hidden agenda towards Maldives .


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