Human rights NGO calls for international observers in Male’ over fears of CNI-related violence

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) NGO has today called for the international community to send observers to Male’ in time for the release of the findings of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI).

With the CNI expected to publicly release its findings on Thursday (August 30), FIDH said that it was “extremely concerned” about the potential for violence in the build up and aftermath of the report’s release.

“The CNI was established in May to determine the nature of the transition of power in February, which led to the so-called resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed,” the NGO stated.

“These events were followed by continuous unrest in the streets of Male’ and severe repression of demonstrations by state security forces. FIDH calls on the international community to immediately send observers to Male’ to prevent further deterioration of the human rights situation in the country.”

The NGO’s statement comes a day after the Maldives Police Service (MPS) launched an operation to introduce increased scrutiny of the Male’s streets and surrounding waters in order to try and control fears of a potential outbreak of unrest ahead of release of the CNI findings.

Maldives Police Service Assistant Commissioner Hussain Waheed today told reporters that authorities had decided to strengthen security across the capital and other islands, in order to “not give any opportunity to create unrest”.

However, Waheed claimed police would provide full support and security services to demonstrations held “peacefully and within the contours of laws”.

Media Freedom

Discussing the current political situation in the Maldives, FIDH president Souhayr Belhassen claimed the NGO was concerned with a number of cases of violence and a “deterioration” in media freedom since February’s controversial transfer of power.

“Since last February, we have witnessed fast-increasing political violence in the Maldives, as well as the multiplication of arbitrary arrests, sexual harassment of female protesters and legal and physical harassment of opposition leaders, including murder attempts,” she claimed. “In such a context, the wait-and-see approach adopted by the international community has become unsustainable and irresponsible.”

During a visit to Male’ by the NGO earlier this month, FIDH claimed it had witnessed an ongoing “deterioration” in press freedoms since February.

“The influence of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the extreme polarisation of the media have been a cause of concern throughout the [constutitional] reform process, and since last February, the authorities have been accused of harassing pro-opposition media,” the NGO said in its statement.

FIDH President Belhassen noted particular concern with the violent attack earlier this year of local blogger Hilath Rasheed, who was left in a critical condition after being stabbed in the neck near his home in Male’ last month.

FIDH alleged that the attack was conducted by religious extremists based on interviews conducted with Hilath after he had to fled the Maldives after partly recovering from his injuries. The government has denied there was proof of any religious motivation behind the attack, claiming it had been carried out by rival gang members.

“FIDH found that the general public has little trust in public institutions, and that these institutions are seen as ineffective in breaking impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations. Authorities also have failed to investigate police violence impartially,” Belhassen stated. “Moreover, despite all the evidence available, the investigation of the attempted murder of human rights defender Hilath Rasheed has not progressed.”


12 thoughts on “Human rights NGO calls for international observers in Male’ over fears of CNI-related violence”

  1. FIDH is just trying to find an excuse to interfere with the internal affairs of Maldives.

    We would welcome observers from friendly nations and organizations like Amnesty International to send in observers in the run up to CoNI report's release and the following days.

    From what I hear there are observers from Commonwealth and other sake holders to observe the situation.

    What is important is for all these observers to keep their eyes open to observe the "VIOLENCE" that will most certainly be perpetrated by MDP and their sympathizers as well as any Human Rights abuses.

    It would be an excellent opportunity for the international community to observe the lawlessness of MDP.

  2. in reality, during anni regime ,the media was hijacked and Anni had been a big threat to the media. There had been number of warnings and threats given to private media and public media was completely hijacked by Anni.

    With regard to arresting of opposition leaders, Anni had done this and was threatening opposition for those who does not bow their heads to Anni will be arrested. Arrest of Yameen and gasim is the proof.

    I believe that FIDH is biased here or they only want to see the violence in this country and are trying to put the fuel into the fire.

    Therefore, I believe it is time for FIDH to mind your own business and not to interfere with ours and let common wealth and UN handle this and not you.

  3. Mody, (aka Haasan Saeed????)

    Wake up. The people have woken up. We see hear and know the truth.

  4. The only solution is to get rid of former dictator Gayoom. If not there will not be peace in Msldives. Gayoom is a criminal people Maldives must send his case to international court of judtice.

  5. at last the world seems to fully understand what has happened in the Malidves in the months since the coup on 7th Feb... and its extremely reassuring to know that they are keeping an eye on all that has been happening...

    The voices accusing of international NGOs of 'intereference in domestic affairs' are just a fading echo of dictator Gayoom; who maintains that the international community is akin to 'foreign missionaries', a perception that is ingrained in him due to his background; he left Male at the age of 12 and did not return to the Malidves for 17 long years... growing up in the Egypt of the 1950s and later teaching in the backwaters of Nigeria. He is unfortunately not up to date with modern day international relations and its a pity that a few lawyers and others are still under the influence of Dictator Gayoom

  6. Really thankful that international community is keeping a watchful eye on the situation in maldives.
    The wait and see approach will only deteriorate the situation. It has consequences beyond the boundaries of Maldives, the criminal Gayoom gang could get on with his usual acts, repressing democracy and human rights, drug transit, money laundering and Islamic radicalism

  7. Illyas Ahmed, If the Maldives wants to keep its internal affairs internal, they shouldn't have appealed for help from the rest of the world, like a drowning man clutching at straws over the last 12 months.

    Both the government and the people are to blame for that embarrassing display of 'helpless maiden'.

  8. FIDH is a respectable international federation with a long history of political engagement. However its interest in this particular seems to have suffered under the influence of the person(s) or organization(s) which appear to be working closely with it from the Maldives.

    FIDH's first engagement with the Maldives appears to have begun only this year on 6 June 2012.

    There is no evidence of any earlier engagement.

    Also its first foray into Maldivian politics appears to have been prompted by unnamed sources which FIDH's current administration deems reliable but fails to name. Therefore pointing to the high possibility that these informants are individuals rather than an organization.

    These are not issues in themselves the following when considered together might lead to the perception of bias on part of FIDH by the Maldivian public and authorities;
    - The organization has no past history of engagement with the Maldives prior to 6 June 2012.
    - Its first engagement involves championing a cause of an individual who, with all due respect, is not just a human rights activist but also an actively involved in and closely connected to the Maldivian Democratic Party.

    INGOs seem to be suffering a great deal due to the perception of bias which results from repeated instances where such organizations have been used by politicians to further questionable causes.

  9. tsk tsk, you may be suffering from what we can now very rightly call a 'Gayoom' complex = International Community / Interference, Biased, Missionary, Invaders, Imperialist. I suggest you try and grow up fast and catch up with what has happened since the end of the Cold War.

    ALso, you may work on your English so that what you are blurting out here on a daily basis is at least a little more coherent..

  10. Come on guys. Syria is still capturing world media by the gonads.

    We need to prep and gear up conflict works here.

    Put on the map. Start all day demonstrations, made them real hard.

    Maldivians do not have any other entertainment coffee talk. So please pulease make this happen....

  11. @hameed:

    Nice try but have a second look across my entire comment and explain the basis for your personal insult.

    Never once have I criticized the international community without attempting to explain my reasons. As for the missionary comment, I don't think religion is at issue here and even if it was I would not be interested in reacting to sensationalist common-denominator concerns about religion engineered by the media.


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