MPs clash over signing Convention on International Criminal Court

MPs clashed over signing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at a rancorous debate during yesterday’s sitting of parliament.

While MPs of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) used the debate time to condemn the “unlawful and authoritarian” practices of the previous government, opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party-People’s Alliance (DRP-PA) MPs accused the current administration of disregarding rule of law and negating parliamentary oversight.

Following an hour-long debate, a motion to send the matter to the national security committee for further consideration, proposed by DRP MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom, was carried with 61 votes in favour and four against.

The issue was sent for parliamentary approval by President Mohamed Nasheed in accordance with article 93(a) of the constitution, which states that, “Treaties entered into by the executive in the name of the state with foreign states and international organisations shall be approved by the People’s Majlis and shall come into force only in accordance with the decision of the People’s Majlis.”


MDP Parliamentary Group Leader “Reeko” Moosa Manik said the purpose of the international criminal court was to “arrest torturers like Maumoon [Abdul Gayoom], people like Ilyas Ibrahim [brother-in-law of the former president] who stole state property and funds, and Attorney Generals like Hassan Saeed who tried to hide it.”

Moosa compared legislation voted through last year to afford privileges and protection to former presidents to laws enacted in Serbia to protect war criminals.

The former president and his brother-in-law, along with former National Security Services senior officer “Isthafa” Ibrahim Manik, he continued, numbered among “the worst torturers in the country’s history.”

Moosa accused former Attorney General Hassan Saeed, leader of the minority opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), of unlawfully arresting and jailing peaceful protesters on August 12 and 13, 2004.

Further, he speculated that the current administration was “incapable of touching [the issue of the former government]” because people involved in the purported crimes were in the new government as well.

He added that “suckling babes” in parliament who “jump up to defend [senior officials of the former government]” would not be able to understand the “feelings of torture victims”.

Moreover, he argued, numerous custodial deaths and brutal torture in prisons exacerbated the national crises of drug abuse and corruption, adding that the new government would go the same way if “action is not taken now.”

Following Moosa’s tirade, DRP MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom accused the MDP government of formulating policies only to “benefit certain people”, which he argued could be “considered a crime in international courts.”

DRP MP for Mid-Henveiru Ali Azim insisted that parliament needed time to carefully study the documents sent over by the president’s office, containing legal advice from the Attorney General, before reaching a decision.

Islamic principles

Minority opposition People’s Alliance (PA) MP Abdul Azeez Jamal Abubakur meanwhile noted that the absence of the United States and most Islamic countries from the list of signatories “raises some questions”.

Referring to article 7.1(h), which deals with persecution of minorities, Independent MP Ibrahim Muttalib argued that parliament should consider whether some articles of the convention were in conflict with Islamic principles.

“This article talks about discrimination,” he cautioned. “Today, international parties consider as discrimination the fact that people of other religions don’t live among us; the fact that we don’t have gay marriage. This is something we have to think about.”

Muttalib added that he was “certain” that secularists and followers of other religions in the Maldives would “come out openly after this convention is signed and start working for their rights.

“Those amongst us today who want gay marriage, once this convention is ratified, will begin work on getting married,” he continued. “We are certain that there are people among us who are scared of our religious scholars and rebuke them. They will make use of this court and begin work against the scholars.”

Vili-Maafanu MP Ahmed Nihan agreed that Maldivian citizens would “surely” take the government to the ICC “saying the government did not allow us to have gay marriage.”

Controversial religious scholar Dr Afrashim Ali, DRP MP for Ungoofaru, meanwhile warned that such conventions could be used “to shatter Islamic principles” and defame individuals “outside the bounds of law”.

Afrashim insisted that the convention should not be signed if it could lead to “the construction of temples here under the name of religious freedom.”

Moreover, Afrashim reprimanded MDP MPs for leveling serious accusations at the former president, pointing out that he had never been convicted of wrongdoing in a court of law.

DRP Deputy Leader Ali Waheed attacked the government for refusing to enact legislation passed by parliament, such as the amendments to the Public Finance Act, which was passed for a second time after the president vetoed the bill.

Independent MP Ahmed Amir suggested that consultations should take place with stakeholders in the judiciary before parliament makes a decision.

Vilifushi MP Riyaz Rasheed of DQP questioned the President’s motive for proposing the matter to parliament.

Referring to the People’s Court protests carried out by the MDP, Riyaz insisted that parliament should pass a law before signing the convention to specify the circumstances under which a Maldivian could be tried at an international court.


16 thoughts on “MPs clash over signing Convention on International Criminal Court”

  1. Ah the familiar tactic of abusing religion when forced to participate in a debate.

    I wonder how long Maldivians will continue to be taken for this tired ride by our MPs (Mullahs Muttalib and Afrasheem strike again!)

    These people exist by sowing fear, hatred and paranoia into people's minds.

    Temples? Gay marriage? Really, Afrasheem, Muttalib? This is the best you could come up with?

  2. Don't these morons know that gay rights and religious freedom do not come under criminal jurisdiction? They wouldn't would they, because in Islam there is no difference between criminal and civil and between spiritual and temporal.

  3. I believe you have to actually face a trail to be convicted of a crime. The pretense that the innocence of individuals from the former regime should not be questioned because they were not convicted of a crime is laughable at best.

    Even more shameful is trying to use religion and fear to deprive people of justice. Our history tells us that government is not full of angels. So where do the people go when their own government betrays them?

  4. The bill should be signed so that everyone should have their freedom. Right now its always the people in power who has the freedom. Earlier it was for Maumoon and his friends and family. Now its for Anni and his friends and family. Signing such a bill would give all Maldivians their freedom to live and their freedom to have their rights plus can account anybody in court of law who doesnot or try to inhibit the freedom and rights of any Maldivian.

  5. We have already signed the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant to Civil and Political Rights during Gayoom's time. So the government can already be taken before an international tribunal for denying that temple. Qatar backed down. Bahrain Backed down. UAE backed down. Those countries are full of churches now. As I write, Saudi is negotiating with the Vatican on building churches in Riyadh and Dhahran. Guess who will be the odd one out then?

  6. I wonder y the writer didn't clarify some of the allegations made by the ignorant MPs. Just a google search would do! Personally I dont think this court would look into y Maldives doesnt allow gay marriages. Hon. MP should do his homework before he opens his mouth!

  7. wow! DRPA MPs would no doubt be against signing Convention on International Criminal Court (ICC) but it's time for Maldives to sign the Convention for the sake of making the country's Parliament and Judiciary responsible so that the alarmingly high crimes like murder cases are investigated and that human killers are punished so that they don't get a human being killing chance any more....

  8. I feel ashamed. Gay marriages. We have had gay people in the country during our grand grand parents time. That does not mean we can register gay marriages. For every step we take our first direction should not be the meanest or the most vulgar or doubts in our faith.Grow up people and make wise decisions.

  9. Every time this Mr Muttolibu Bin Creep utters Isulaamu dheen and fornication and gay rights and secularism, I get reminded of a Maldivian saying:

    "Vagunge fosheegai baarah badhdhaane eve.(The robber is the one who hold on to his trunk the tightest)"

    Looks like he is overdoing himself to cover-up!

    We have to check on this guy and find out whether how this man has lived his life.

    Have there been any bribes distributed to judges?

    Have there been any children out of wedlock?

    Have there been any money stolen, misappropriated, embezzled?

    I'm sure there are people who knows who he is and is waiting for the strategic moment to make it all public!

  10. these MP's should be ashamed of themselves for all the nonsensical 'debate' they have in the parliament. every time something is discussed it doesn't have to be about religion, gay marriage and building temples and churches..its too clear to see that you lot are trying to suck our blood and have a fat salary and lot of privileges and waste your time in the chamber doing nothing that would help the people. Mutalib and the like just makes me sick!

  11. SAVAGES! I say throw them all into the Roman Colosseum and watch them barbarians kill each other!

  12. What’s wrong with people? Universally accepted norms and justice for all should be accepted without trying picking up some religious compulsive obsessive disorders. We see these bunch of Mullah discredit all internationally accepted norms just because ‘religion’ – is that the best argument?? I like to see a shred of supported evidence for the existence of GOD (or is this limited to‘ you have to believe? Get real people!) To all those fanatics out there trying to discredit science and progress the human being made without religion, how about trying a different route and actually try to prove the existence of GOD, more over that islam is the ONOE TRUE RELIGION. if this is proved then there will be no need to even have this arguments about understanding simple common sense ! No, no but that would involve using your brains….and possibly science – which is beyond the capacity of religious people.
    We agree those sit on the benches to dictate us by writing laws are the most primitive people on the face earth no matter how blatantly clear amount of evidence is there to support any sensible argument these people will oppose it. I wonder what PhD are these guys are holding? Religious studies? They are not in a position to be discrediting every standard law to give freedom to human being based on a book complied some 1400 years ago – They are primitive people who live thier life by 1 book (which has the answer to everything btw).
    What I REALLY want to know is how people can blindly conform to a ANY religion in such a day an age without any evidence for which there is a plethora that what human freedom can achieve ?? Doesn’t it make you wonder that there are so many religions…Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism amongst others…and some have followers in excess of 1 billion people? Who is right? Who shall we kill?.
    Freedom, human dignity, tolerance and universal norms should be taught in ALL schools then maybe some progress can made for the generation to come.

    P.s Mullahs are ALL uneducated, pedophilic idiots who should all be lined up and shot.

  13. @ assbar,

    What gives you the right to impose your atheist views upon others?!

    Evolutionist such as yourself should spread your ideologies else where like.. Darwin's ass!

    If science could prove all, why cant the most brilliant mind of this era (Hawking) combine two "simple" theories (string & quantum) to give us an "simple" answer as to the question.. does god exist?!

    And more importantly, why is it that 21st century science acknowledges some of the facts stated in Koran, which ages back to primitive times (apparently 1400 years, as stated by YOU)
    A weird coincidence you reckon?

    On a related but side note, Scientists have failed to create life but Only mere replications of DNA proved fruitful.

    "Doesn’t it make you wonder that there are so many religions…Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism amongst others…and some have followers in excess of 1 billion people? Who is right? Who shall we kill?."

    Doesn't these religions have one or two features common? For instance promoting PEACE, TOLERANCE, RESPECT!!

    Dude, some of your sentences are incoherent! And for crying out loud, do some research before dismissing these religions which billions "blindly" follow =P

    In your case, Ignorance is not a bliss but blasphemy!
    Have G'day

  14. shutter

    “string & quantum” any theory you come up, they are theories of thinkers who are the results of evolution, You can’t use theories to falsify evolution, you have to put fact to falsify evolution. Micro evolution when species’ changes over time are scientifically proven fact. Question is macro evolution when a species become new species’ has not been proven in a control study, probably it takes million years. Your God theory is as illusion as macro evolution, But at least evolution has substantiated evidence,

  15. @ assbar

    "You can’t use theories to falsify evolution, you have to put fact to falsify evolution"

    A generally accepted FACT by many scientists is that the Earth is 4 billion years old, give or take a few billions.

    "Micro evolution when species’ changes over time are scientifically proven fact. Question is macro evolution when a species become new species’ has not been proven in a control study, probably it takes MILLION years"

    If it is scientifically proven that the Earth aged at around 4 BILLION and yet it takes MILLIONS of years for evolution to take its course on a MICRO scale. The emphasis is on the word MICRO, your talking about evolution on a micro scale and yet it take millions of years according to proven FACTS.

    I could only imagine how long it would take for bacteria consisting of proteins to evolve into many complex living species we find today.
    Probably the evolution process out dates the age of the Earth.. 😛

    In which case it is 'scientifically' impossible and not valid.

    If your referring to the soup experiment as substantiated evidence for evolution. Then by all means i agree with you! =P

    Hope you find faith and peace.


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