Human Rights Commission summoned to Supreme Court

Members of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) have been summoned to appear before the Supreme Court next week.

The summons closely follows the HRCM’s report for the UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Universal Periodic Review, submitted earlier this week which criticised the court’s growing powers.

“Judicial system is controlled and influenced by the Supreme Court, weakening judicial powers vested in other superior courts and lower courts,” wrote the commision for the HRC’s examination of human rights in the Maldives.

Members of the commission have revealed that the summons, originally for today (September 18) has been delayed until September 22 due to the current absence of members from the capital, Malé.

The President’s Office has today criticised the report, suggesting in particular that sections on the death penalty could mislead international opinion.

Minivan News understands that the letter of the Supreme Court summons says only that the HRCM is being summoned “for the purposes of the court”.

Changes to contempt of court regulations made in June authorised courts to initiate legal proceedings and punish individuals for any expression, action, gesture, or piece of writing “inside or outside a courtroom” that could be considered contempt of court.

Contempt of court charges were also used to dismiss senior members of the Elections Commission (EC) just weeks before March’s Majlis elections.

Constitutionally protected testimonies given to the Majlis was included in evidence used to remove EC President Fuwad Thowfeek and Vice President Ahmed Fayaz for violating article 141 of the Constitution – which prohibits interference with the functioning of the courts.

The HRCM was accused of interfering in the work of the Juvenile Court earlier this year following a report on the infamous case of an abused 15-year-old sentenced to flogging. The court summoned commission members after suggesting the report contained false information.

Through a raft of regulations enacted in recent months, the Maldives Supreme Court has sought to consolidate control over administrative affairs of the judiciary.

The HRCM report to the UN said that “due to shortfalls in judicial system, functioning of the judiciary is often questionable on various grounds including independence, transparency, interference, influence, competency, consistency, and accessibility”.

Criticism and confusion

The report – part of a study of the human rights records of all 193 UN member states – has been criticised by the President’s Office, which has suggested the report was “very confusing” on the death penalty issue.

The ‘Child Rights’ section of the report calls for the abolition of the “death penalty” for minors after moves to end the 60-year moratorium earlier this year.

While the revised Penal Code, passed in April, ensures those under 15-years cannot be held criminally responsible, minors can still be charged for Hadd offences, with death sentences not carried out until 18-years of age.

“The Government of Maldives is not going to give the death penalty to children,” President’s Office Spokesman Ibrahim Muaz told Minivan News today.

Comments from the Swiss delegation on the Maldives’ death penalty policy, made during the general debate session of Tuesday’s HRC meeting, prompted an angry response from Maldivian counterparts.

After being criticised by the Swiss for changing legislation “to permit the death penalty for children as young as 7 years old”, the Maldives itself attacked statements “rooted on misrepresentation and media speculation”.

Legal sources told Minivan News that, while the new Penal Code does include the “immaturity excuse” – removing criminal responsibility from those under 15, Article 15c still allows for minors to be held accountable for hadd offences.

Human Rights Commission member Jeehan Mahmood has defended the overall report submitted for the UPR.

“It’s the one chance we get to bring the world’s attention to issues that the state chooses to ignore on domestic forums”.


10 thoughts on “Human Rights Commission summoned to Supreme Court”

  1. "HOOOOOOONK! *elastic slap* BAWWW!!
    HOW DARE YOU SPEAK ABOUT US WITHOUT PERMISSION!!! YOU MADE US LOOK BAD! *sound of elastic underwear snapping*

    "Bring me another jangiyaa! And another one of those Russian gals! AND WINE! I WANT MORE WINE!"

    Wiretap from the Supreme Court.

  2. People with integrity need to be silenced since they still dare to speak the truth despite the risks.

  3. @MissIndia.
    You should be ashamed of talking about human rights in Maldives.

    You should first abolish your lousy cast system before open your mouth.

    You should provide basic health , education and clean water to 60% of your population who are deprived from these basic needs.

  4. So, apparently I figured out the government's stand on development in the Maldives.

    "India doesn't do it! Why should we?"

  5. @ Hero aka PPM stooge
    Isn't it time you went on jihad? I suggest you go to Yemen, the latest muslim country to implode.
    Islam seems to have brought only political instability, civil strife and violence to muslim countries.
    The Maldives government needs to provide better educational and healthcare facilities for its people. This will stop the abuse of the low cost facilities in my country by drug addicted foreigners with whom we have nothing in common.

  6. @ miss Indianewdeli
    Your comment equating @Hero to PPM stooge is quite revealing about you. Don't you think ?

  7. @Hero

    I so much feel like laughing when you say lousy cast system.You really need to enroll yourself in a basic English class.Anyway lets face the fact that may be India may have a cast system openly,but you have it here only you without knowing of much a loathsome system of cast.Its no wonder why people like you can simply ignore such an obvious fact of this system which is gaining more momentum while the Indians are trying to throw away the yolk of cast.Regarding the 60% you so claim,do you know that this chosen people on this chosen land are deprived of all the basic facilities you mentioned in the 90% range.i beleive thats a difference of 30.May be your moronic and pathetic little lizard brain cant fathom what are rights.Probably you believe that Male is the most beautiful capital (Maumoon said so)>maldivians are the most brilliant species (Maumoon said so several times ).This country is so very special because we are 100% Muslims,God is very proud of this land (sheihk musailama bin kazzab bin Imran brays all the time).Hero isnt this true,you are not in a position to talk about India,without them a kG of cabbage to you will be 20$,if not for Ranabaxy Augmentin you can never afford.


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