Death penalty can be implemented starting today: Home Minister

The death penalty can be implemented in the Maldives starting today following the publication of procedural regulations in the government gazette, Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer has said.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Naseer said the chances of killing an innocent person after completing all the procedures in the regulation – titled “procedural regulation on investigating and penalising the crime of murder” – was “far-fetched” and “almost impossible”.

The regulation was formulated under the Police Act and the Clemency Act with the objective of specifying the procedures for investigating murders and implementing death penalty, and came into force today.

While Maldives has been maintaining an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty since 1953, several people have been sentenced to death over the years. The common practice had been for the president to commute all death sentences to life imprisonment through powers vested in him by Clemency Act.

With the new regulation, the president will no longer have this authority if a person is sentenced to death for murder by the Supreme Court, Naseer noted.

Both President Abdulla Yameen and Vice President Mohamed Jameel have expressed their support for implementing death penalty.


The regulation only allows implementation of death penalty for intentional homicide or premeditated murder and only when the sentence is delivered by the Supreme Court.

A death penalty committee comprised of the Prosecutor General, Chief Justice (or someone appointed by him) and the Commissioner of Prisons have to send a written confirmation to the president that all procedures of the regulation have been followed.

After receiving this confirmation, the president is required to send an execution order to the Commissioner of Prisons within three days.

Within seven days of receiving this order, the Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) has to carry out the execution using lethal injection.

Naseer said the executions will take place at a building in Maafushi Prison, which is currently under construction.

Mediation process

The regulation requires Ministry of Islamic Affairs to mediate between the victim’s family and the convict.

Through this process, which reflects the Shariah principle of qisas (retaliation), family members who are ‘warith’ (heirs in Shariah law) will be given an opportunity to pardon the convict with or without receiving blood money.

The execution will not be carried out even if a single member of the family chooses to pardon the convict.

The family is given a ten-day period following the mediation to come to a decision.

“A first step”

According to the regulation, implementation of death penalty can be delayed if the convict is underage, till he or she is 18-years-old and if the convict is pregnant, until she gives birth and the child is two years old.

If a medical board appointed by the Commissioner of Prisons finds the convict is of very weak health, the sentence will be delayed till he recovers.

Responding to a question about implementing stricter punishments for other crimes as well, Naseer said the decision to implement death penalty for murder is just a first step and noted that “the Quran was also revealed through different stages.”

“Look at this as a first step. God willing, this government will take all necessary action for keeping peace and creating a safe environment for our citizens.” He said.

Naseer also noted that there maybe some countries and organisations which would be concerned over the decision, but said the Maldives will go ahead with it as a sovereign nation and a 100 percent Islamic country.

“There will be some parties who will be concerned about this. Concerned countries, concerned NGOs. Some counties are not too pleased with it [death penalty, but we will know about the issue of executing people in this country, the overcrowding of prisons in this country, how much the criminal environment is more lively in this country. And we are a hundred percent Islamic country and there are certain values that we all believe in,” Naseer said.


11 thoughts on “Death penalty can be implemented starting today: Home Minister”

  1. So they killed the animals and not it's time to try the lethal stuff on humans.

  2. If the Maldives is to implement this because it is a so called Islamic country; then is it also going to make the value of the life of a woman worth half of that of a man when it comes to the issue of blood money etc? The Maldives is also not 100% Islamic. This is just a quick way for these corrupt fools to use gangsters for murders and then shut them up by killing them themselves. It doesn't address the root causes of crime at all.

  3. If Umar Naseer is the first and last to be sentenced to death, there would be less debate and hastening steps to implement this. Every day Umar Naseer remains housing minister or even a human, there can be no doubt that this country has no justice, no honor or legitimacy. How then can something so severe as capital punishment be imposed? Who is the criminal and who is a s** addict judge? and who is a lowly criminal and who is a traitor to the country in Minister's clothing?

  4. In a 100% Muslim country implementing death penalty for murderers, amputation for robbery & stoning of adulterers are a normal things.

  5. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated, “The United Nations system has long advocated abolition of the death penalty.” A growing number of countries -- around 150 in all -- have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it.

    This global trend is also seen among countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

    The Maldives made a commitment following its Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2010 to maintain a moratorium on the death penalty, in line with its vote in favour of UN General Assembly Resolution 65/206.

    In view of the country’s more than 50-year moratorium, the Maldives should take the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to its international human rights obligations, and abolish the death penalty--at the very least, to maintain the moratorium.

    In particular, it is of grave concern about the applicability of the death penalty and corporal punishment to persons who committed crimes while below 18 years of age. These concerns have also been expressed to the Maldives by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in 2012, and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2007, and most recently by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children, following her visit to Maldives in May 2013.

    Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides, "Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age."

    Article 37(a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides, "No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age."

    International law is not asking for the justice system to disregard criminal responsibility of persons under-18 for crimes. Children can commit serious crimes, they can be charged, and they can be be held accountable (unless of course they are below the age of criminal responsibility).

    The concern is the choice of sentence. The red line in international law is: persons who are charged and convicted for offences they have committed under 18 years of age should not be sentenced to death, corporal punishment, or life imprisonment without possibility of release. There are other alternative types of sentences which can be considered in these circumstances.

    Moreover, suspension or deferment of a sentence until a person reaches 18 years is not sufficient; the sentence of death for children itself violates the country's international commitments.

    A good solution is if a provision could be inserted into the Penal code as an amendment, which restates article 37(a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: "No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age."

    Out of 57 Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries, there are about 29 which still retain the death penalty.

    Only seven are reported to continue to sentence children to death (Gambia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen). The Maldives makes eight.

    Clearly there is no religious consensus about sentencing children to death.

    On 13 December 2012, three boys were sentenced to death (one was 17 and two were 16 years of age at the time they committed the murder). In addition, on 1 May 2013, two children were sentenced to death another murder.

    Five death sentences for children in the Maldives. This is a violation of the country's international treaty obligations.

    Time for courageous leadership to create the democratic safe for a real deep discussion on human rights in this country. It's not about what other countries are doing. If it wants to be taken seriously by the international community and build its reputation, it is expected to behave appropriately towards it's people.

  6. Is that a joke Richard Banks? What is not corrupt in the Maldives? Especially everything where politics are involved (which is basically... everything) corruption is the rule, not the exception. Politicians, judiciary, police, army, state owned companies, ... none of them are 100% Islamic, but they're all 100% corrupt.

    Ravin Loony, depending on your interpretation there are clear indicators to believe in Islam taking a life of another Muslim is never allowed. The death penalty can be seen as a violation of Islamic principles. Extremists don't share this interpretation though.

    Oh yea, there are no interpretations in Islam, that's not allowed. Instead it's called "misunderstandings". Scholars and Islamic leaders the only ones who possess the knowledge and wisdom to read the texts right. (irony)

  7. There's a little loophole in the death penalty.

    "They'll have to catch you first."

  8. A thought in the wrong direction. First and foremost, find out why we have the murders and what makes a Maldivian commit murder.

    There would be no genuine reason to sanction death sentence, as the murderers are either simple scapegoats used by well connected people, or junkies over dozed on crack that tells them to kill even for a petty reason.

    We need a referendum so that the public can debate on this issue and come to a vote!

  9. Apparently lethal injection leads to botched executions than any other method and has been deemed the worst, most fallible method of execution used since the 19th century. Evidence for this is what happened in Oklahoma on Tuesday night.


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