The Maldives Government will not hesitate to implement the death penalty, the Ministry of Home Affairs has assured.
The statement follows a wave of attacks within the past 7 days, including fatal stabbings in Malé and Thulusdhoo.
The Home Ministry said that the government “will not hesitate to implement the death penalty placed by the courts upon persons who stab and murder with the willful intent to kill,” according to local media Sun Online.
The ministry also said that the Maldives Police Service is conducting a number of special operations to prevent further attacks, assuring that the government is taking every possible measure to bring an end to the outbreak of violence in the capital.
Measures to re-introduce the death penalty were finalised in April, while local media reported last month that the Maldives Correctional Services (MCS) had completed a facility in which to administer the lethal injection.
Minivan News has been unable to obtain comment from either the Home Ministry or the MCS regarding these preparations.
Prior to this policy change, the Maldives had maintained an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty since 1953, when Hakim Didi was executed by firing squad for the crime of practising black magic.
Several people have been sentenced to death during the moratorium, although they have traditionally had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment by presidential decree.
Despite widespread concerns over the state of the Maldivian justice system, Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer said the chances of killing an innocent person after completing all the procedures in the regulation was “far-fetched” and “almost impossible”.
Although the death penalty has proven to be a contentious issue, Naseer assured the international community that the Madlives has a firm reason to continue with the ruling.
Conversely, Amnesty International have pointed out that the decision to resume the death sentence is in contradiction with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – a treaty to which the Maldives became a party in 2006.
Similarly, The Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) has condemned the Maldivian government’s decision to implement the death penalty.
“Given the state of the Maldivian judiciary, which is also perceived to be highly politicised and corrupt, it is most concerning that as grave a matter as life and death of humans is to be decided by it,” the MDN stated.
“In addition to this, research shows that capital punishment does not deter murder any greater than the threat and application of lesser punishments,” the statement concluded.
The practice of the death penalty, and the use of lethal injections, has recently grabbed international headlines again after aconvicted murderer in Arizona appeared to take two hours to die.