The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has recommended the international community impose travel and other restrictions against President Mohamed Waheed, Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz and Supreme Court Justices Ahmed Abdulla Didi, Abdulla Saeed, Adam Mohamed Abdulla and Ali Hameed Mohamed.
“The time has come to ensure that all those who subvert democracy and the rule of law are held accountable by denying visas as well as any association including employment opportunities by the United Nations and other inter‐governmental organisations,” stated the regional NGO, which has special consultative status with the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
In a damning 12-page report on the current situation, ACHR declared that the Supreme Court should not have entertained the Jumhooree Party’s (JP) “frivolous petition” to delay the run-off polls after the November 9 re-vote, as the party had placed third and was not even contesting the poll the following day.
“There is no guarantee that the second round of election will be held on 16 November 2013. There are legitimate apprehensions that the ongoing election processes will be subject to further litigation before the Supreme Court is compliant to Gayoom’s forces. There are also legitimate fears that the elections slated for 16 November 2013 will not be free and fair as the Maldivian Police and pro‐Gayoom forces will resort to violence,” the ACHR warned.
Noting that strong calls by the international community for free and fair elections had had “very little impact” and been rebuffed by President Waheed, “the time has come for the international community including the United Nations, European Union, the Commonwealth and India to take decisive action to restore democracy in the Maldives,” ACHR stated.
The organisation in its report recommended:
- President Mohamed Waheed should not be recognised as President of Maldives beyond 11 November 2013 and engagements with all the diplomatic missions of Maldives be downgraded until a legitimate and democratically elected President takes over in Male through the run‐off election slated for 16 November 2013;
- Ensure that no new agreement including for bilateral and/or multilateral aid is signed with the Government of Maldives until a legitimate and democratically elected President takes over in Male through the run‐off election slated for 16 November 2013;
- Ensure a travel ban through denial of visas to Mohammed Waheed and four judges of the Supreme Court of Maldives namely Justices Ahmed Abdulla Didi, Abdulla Saeed, Adam Mohamed Abdulla and Ali Hameed Mohamed and the Maldives Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz by any member State of the United Nations;
- Ensure boycott of Mohammed Waheed; four judges of the Supreme Court of Maldives namely Ahmed Abdulla Didi, Abdulla Saeed, Adam Mohamed Abdulla and Ali Hameed Mohamed; and the Maldives Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz including through denial of employment or any invitation to any programmes organized or hosted by the United Nations and other inter‐governmental organisations;
- Ensure that Maldives is suspended as a member of the Commonwealth in the CHOGM 2013 being held on 15‐17 November 2013 if elections are not held as scheduled on 16 November 2013.
The organisation noted that the Maldives was today coincidentally due to be re-elected unopposed to the UN Human Rights Council, despite having no legitimately-elected government.
“The re-election of Maldives as a member of the UN Human Rights Council at the UN General Assembly today despite having no legitimate government in Male is a mockery and sends an absolutely wrong message about the UN Human Rights Council. The credibility of the United Nations can only be restored through suspension of the membership of Maldives from the UN Human Rights Council like Libya in 2011.” said Suhas Chakma, ACHR Director.
Earlier today the US government said it was “deeply concerned” by President Mohamed Waheed’s “unprecedented decision” to remain in power past the mandate of his presidency, which expired on November 10.
“This action has endangered the Maldivian people’s right to elect a leader of their choice,” stated the US Embassy in Colombo.
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird also slammed the Supreme Court’s “disappointing” decision to delay the run-off vote until after the expiry of the presidential term, which he said “undermines both the Maldives’ constitution and the people’s faith in elections.”
“The term of the current government has now expired without a newly elected government to replace it. This is the case despite two free and fair elections over the last two months,” Baird remarked.