Former home minister questions government’s sincerity regarding death penalty

Former Home Minister Hassan Afeef has questioned the government’s intention to carry out the death sentence under recently introduced regulations.

“I think they are just playing to the minds of the people because they say they want to protect the religion and protect the country as one of their campaign pledges,” he said.

Afeef – home minister between 2010 and 2012 – also questioned the ability of the current tainted judiciary to provide the certainty required for implementation of the death penalty under Islamic law.

“The judiciary might pass the sentence, there may be a verdict, but I don’t think the current regime will carry it out,” said Afeef.

“They know how politically influenced the judiciary is as the present government are the people who politically influence these judicial decisions – so they know why they make these decisions.”

Afeef’s comments follow further international headlines regarding the new regulations.

The AFP has described the recent murder conviction of a minor to be a “test case” for the new law, although the home minister had previously said that the rules will be applied retroactively to all pending death sentences.

In a statement released yesterday, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) joined the growing international criticism accusing the Maldives government of being out-of-step with its international commitments.

“The decision to reinstate the death penalty in the Maldives, in particular against minors, is an outrage and gravely at odds with the growing international momentum towards abolition,” said FIDH President Karim Lahidji.

Lack of capacity

Speaking with Minivan News today, Afeef said the government’s attempts to carry out death sentences in accordance with Islamic Shariah were not possible with the criminal justice system as it is.

Afeef argued that those found guilty of such crimes beyond any doubt should be punished according to Islamic law, but questioned the capacity of the police and the judiciary to provide this certainty.

“According to Islam, when you pass the death penalty it has to be proven beyond doubt that the person has committed that crime and, according to the present situation – the present judiciary and the autocratic regime – we may find a situation where the person sentenced may not be the actual culprit,” he said.

The impartiality of the police and the judiciary has continued to be questioned this month, with the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party describing failures investigate the multiple charges against Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed as “awe-inspiring”.

The statement said the failure of the police and the Judicial Services Commission to conclude investigations or to prosecute Judge Hameed were a clear indication of the status of the Maldives’ criminal justice system.

“Such a judge sitting on the supreme court bench is not recognised by any judicial or legal system in the world. And surely it is the general public who are facing injustice because of this,” said the party.

Hameed – who stands accused of appearing in a sex-tape as well as corruption – adjudicated on both the annulment the first round of last year’s presidential elections as well as the dismissal of the elections commissioner prior to parliamentary elections in March.

Both incidents were denounced by the international community, which has consistently called for judicial reform. Current Attorney General Mohamed Anil has pledged review and reform of the courts as part of the government’s legislative agenda.

Dheen and Qawm

Home Minister Umar Naseer’s January announcement that the government was making preparations to end the country’s 60-year moratorium on the death penalty culminated in the publication of new procedural regulations last month.

Following the gazetting of the new guidelines, Naseer said the chances of killing an innocent person after completing all the procedures in the regulation were “far-fetched” and “almost impossible”.

The regulation – which only allows implementation of death penalty when the sentence is delivered by the Supreme Court – will establish a death penalty committee to assure all procedures have been adhered to.

Mediation between the Islamic Ministry and the victim’s family is also mandated, with family members who are ‘warith’ (heirs in Shariah law) given an opportunity to pardon the convict with or without receiving blood money.

After having previously been opposed to the practice, President Abdulla Yameen announced a “change of heart” just weeks after winning his party’s presidential primary race last year.

Suggesting that “murder has to be punished with murder” in order to “save society”, Yameen embarked on a campaign of ‘dheen and qawm’ – religion and country – winning a drawn-out election in the second round last November.


10 thoughts on “Former home minister questions government’s sincerity regarding death penalty”

  1. No worries. I have signed in Emergency War Law 8338, authorizing any citizen of the Maldives to summarily execute any gang member of the mordis paatey sodu.

  2. Mr Afeef I think you first ought to give back the illegal allowance money you took from home ministry's budget when you were the minister and then you just might be a bit more credible person.

  3. Why is this guy blabbering nonsense? Is it because Madoogali Resort is not doing too well now that he wants to divert his actual worries elsewhere? hmmm

  4. Klyfer: Madoogali Resort was doing very well, until gangster Adeeb decided to take a good amount of money from one shareholder and sign off the resort to this one shareholder (corruption much?). People like you are fooled by Adeeb who is getting super rich at the expense of the tourism industry of this country, our main bread winner, and when he retires he will do so, a very happy, albeit unhealthy man. Madoogali resort is one very small example of the deals he has carried out to get rich. Just as you are asking Afeef to pay back the government the money he owes to the government, would you have the guts to ask Adeeb to declare the "income" he has received while in the position of the tourism minister, for the purpose of taxes? His own personal income, and the BPT that his companies would have to pay, if declared properly would be pretty considerable for a minister who is supposedly serving the government for the betterment of the country. Wonder why all ministers aren't super rich like him eh. Is there a special hidden allowance just for being the tourism minister?

  5. Well Mariyam just so you know Adeeb couldn't have done it without approval from Afeef. Ever heard of a contract? Yes thats we went for. Don't blame Adeeb for poorly running Madoogali. Have a look at the trip advisor comments of that resort first and talk some sense. Afeef is an owner of the island FFS.

  6. need to find out how Afeef got hold of the Island in the first place.

    How the idiot treating his staffs ?

    Better this guys shut his mouth

  7. Klyfer, haha you are funny. Does Adeeb as tourism minister do everything with Afeef's approval? You mean Adeeb is Afeef's puppet? Careful, I don't think super man Adeeb will like that insinuation. Sure Madoogali won't be run well when the top management that was there then like the GM and the deputy are paid off by Adeeb and the shareholder who managed to get Adeeb to sign off the resort to him. Wonder how these two staff who were just working in the resort then, are living the lives of a king now. Any resort hiring these two people should be very careful I would say. It's very much like how Adeeb who as a government minister is living the life of a millionaire. Something not right eh. And while you look at selected trip advisor comments that were negative only after the Adeeb affair, stop being biased and look at all the awards madoogali has also won from many operators before Adeeb decided to add some money to his account at the expense of shareholder issues. Honestly Klyfer, get your facts right 🙂

  8. Who is this Afeef to talk about the judiciary? He was one of the most inept individuals in MDP's last government and one of the reasons why that government fell. After all, he was the Home Minister and the police revolted under his watch. He couldn't even do his own job properly. Now he has the nerve to talk about others.

    People like this made a mockery of the people who elected MDP into power hoping for a true democracy, social justice and a regime free from corruption. Far from those ideals, people like Afeef turned into some of the most corrupt and inept politicians we have ever seen.

    Insha Allah, we will never see the likes of him in power again.

  9. Hero, once again I have to agree with you. Even when I saw this I did wonder why Afeef is talking about this. We are not ready for the death penalty in this country and I don't see it solving any crimes. It's not a certain political party that is going to save this country, it's us the people and as long as we are tolerant of corruption, then we will only get what we deserve. Sadly this country has turned into a haven for crime, corruption, drugs, child abuse, rape, murder etc. And while I had a lot of hope that Umar Naseer would change it, and fight against people like Adeeb and Nazim, guess he's just not able to do so, despite all his brave talk. Afterall the ladder idea was superb, we need more ingenuity like that.


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