Human Rights Commission condemns government’s “intimidation” of NGOs

The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) has condemned the government’s use of  “threats and intimidation” against civil society groups.

HRCM officials have also met with the Maldives Police Service to discuss allegations of the misuse of strip searches following recent demonstrations.

Writing to the Home Ministry, the commission reported that it had “condemned the infringement of the right to freedom of association as [an] expression of these two organisations”.

The letter also called upon the ministry to refrain from “unlawful sanctions” and activities that prevent such groups from working for the protection of human rights.

The HRCM pointed to Article 2(c) of the Human Rights Commission Act, which obligates it to support and protect these NGOs in the their work.

State Minister for Home Affairs and the Registrar of NGOs Abdulla Mohamed last week declared that the Tourism Employees Association of the Maldives (TEAM) and Transparency Maldives (TM) were under investigation for “unlawful acts” and warned NGOs that organisations acting outside of law would be dissolved.

The Maldivian Democracy Network has also condemned the minister’s remarks.

Transparency has publicly called for the Supreme Court to respect the constitutionally mandated election schedule, after it noted no significant issues during its extensive observation mission covering the first round of presidential polls.

The group has also questioned the integrity of the Supreme Court bench prior to its decision to delay the second round of voting.

The integrity of the court has become a running theme during the ensuing demonstrations, with particular attention drawn to Justice Ali Hameed’s alleged appearance in a string of sex-tapes.

TEAM – an industry body representing some 5000 resort workers – has threatened prlonged strikes, saying that the Supreme Court order “destroys the principles of democracy we have embraced and voids articles of the constitution.”

Transparency Maldives – an affiliate of Transparency International – states its mission as improving “transparency and accountability in all sectors” as well as increasing awareness of “corruption and its detrimental effects on society and development”.

The HRCM has also met with the police after being made aware of allegations that strip searches were being used in an unnecessary and discriminatory manner following the arrest of protesters.

Allegations of arbitrary and frequent use of pepper spray, beating, strip-searching, frisking, handcuffing and drug testing of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters were heard during the Parliamentary Privileges Subcommittee this week.

During the HRCM’s meeting with police, it stressed its belief that strip searches were a “degrading and inhuman treatement” that was to be avoided whenever possible.

The HRCM urged the police to obtain the detainee’s consent and the authorisation of a senior officer before conducting such a search, as well as ensuring that those carrying out the search are adequately trained.

In a statement issued on Wednesday (October 2), police said they were authorised to frisk and conduct strip-searches under Articles 32-36 of the the Police Powers Act.

The articles state that police are authorised to use such procedures if they have reasonable grounds to believe the detainee may hold an object to harm themselves or another, or an object for intoxication, or an object to commit an illegal object.


10 thoughts on “Human Rights Commission condemns government’s “intimidation” of NGOs”

  1. Mr Abdualla-Bin-Mohammed-Bin-Thick-as-Two-Short-Planks is a lot of hot air and not much else. He is just muttering to himself about things he knows nothing about. Just ignore him; he'll be gone quite soon anyway.

    He cannot do anything to even a single NGO. Not in a million years.

  2. Funny how Social media and some news twisted the story, what ever abdullah said, he said in a political rally at personal level..

    This was twisted by the Social media to make it look as if the Ministry of Home Affairs (Government) threatened these NGO's.

    Too bad that the NGO's we have are also so politicized

  3. Funny how Ann has double standards. It goes easy on regime thugs, and makes a mountain out of a molehill when MDP people say things.

  4. As Lee Kuan Yew says, human rights commission is not required

    It only helps to facilitate discontent. Shut down the shop till Maldives is matured to practice western style democracy

  5. A Video footage of last night's "Very peaceful protest"

    see it and Judge for Yourselves..

    where is HRCM now? they are busy protecting the protesters on this video!

  6. Maldives HRCM is a political wing of MDP and we can not expect more than that from these idiots.

    In the short history of HRCM, they have always been advocating the rights of the criminal and have never raised their voice or concern of the normal citizen in this county.

    Even when a murder is taken place, they will start fighting for the rights of the murderer but never ever raised a concerned of the victim or the victim's family . This is how far they will go the rights of people.

  7. The Maldives have seen twists and turns all the way through!
    People twisting people, people twisting words, words twisting people etc., etc.
    Which ever the case is, no Abdulla or "Mr Abdualla-Bin-Mohammed-Bin-Thick-as-Two-Short-Planks is a lot of hot air and not much else." (heh! heh! love it), is going to twist the fact that these words were spoken by someone holding a responsible post that can make things happen!
    This is not right!

  8. @facts on Sun, 6th Oct 2013 11:13 AM

    "... we can not expect more than that from these idiots."

    There you go. Always talking about yourself! Do you want a free IQ test?


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