“Murder has to be punished with murder”: Yameen calls for death penalty to be put into practice

Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) Presidential Candidate Abdulla Yameen has called for the death penalty to be put into practice in the Maldives, a day after vowing to reform the judiciary.

The MP, half brother of former autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, made the comments while speaking on the program Voice of Maldives on Monday night (July 22).

Yameen explained that although he was not previously an advocate of the death penalty, he now believed it must be implemented to save Maldivian society from murders that have become too commonplace, according to local media reports.

Yameen noted that as a result of the “recent spate of killings” in the Maldives he has had a “change of heart” and now believes “murder has to be punished with murder.”

“It is something that has to be done. We cannot move forward without making our streets safe,” Yameen said.

Yameen explained that a death penalty sentence should only be implemented if upheld by the Supreme Court.

“I now believe, if it can be proven in trial so that the country accepts, if it is proven to a degree accepted by judicial principles, if all the steps are followed, and if the Maldivian people believe, I believe that the death penalty is necessary to save society,” he said.

He also noted that because detailed legislation is necessary to implement the death penalty, the current government recently proposed a death penalty bill in parliament.

Regarding whether he would implement Islamic Sharia law, Yameen’s response to a caller was that “justice is currently delivered in the Maldives through Islamic principles” and that he would act “in accordance with what is laid out by the constitution.”

He pledged that under a PPM government he would “do whatever has to be done” to make the Maldives a peaceful place.

Yameen also denied financing or having links with gangs, claiming these allegations “do not have any basis” and politicians perpetuating such rumors “lack sincerity”.

Such rumors that Yameen has gang ties have “been around a long time”, according to CNM.

During the PPM presidential primary, former candidate and PPM Vice President Umar Naseer publicly accused Yameen of involvement with gangs and the illegal drug trade. However, Yameen denied the “defamatory accusations” calling them “baseless and untrue”.

Yameen further noted during the Voice of Maldives program that a “major part” of the government budget would be spent on youth, including a special rehabilitation program for drug addicts, with more than 900 placements available, if he is elected president.

Last month, Yameen also announced that PPM intended to transform Hulhumale’ into a “Youth City” where enough apartments to accommodate young people would be constructed.

Judicial reform pledge

Meanwhile, a day prior to Yameen’s comments in favor of implementing the death penalty to quell violent crime in the Maldives, the PPM presidential candidate pledged to reform the judiciary, even if it required amending the constitution.

To gain investors’ confidence and bring foreign investments to the Maldives, reforming the judiciary to ensure swift justice and confidence in the institution is necessary, Yameen explained.

“We see the many challenges ahead from every direction. So we are not only competing with other candidates. We are competing against the flailing economy and fading culture and values,” he said.

Yameen told local media that Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain had also noted the judiciary has “problems”.

Faiz has meanwhile urged the public and media to refrain from making statements that would give a negative image of the judiciary, and called for constitutional amendments.

His comment’s follow the Maldives Bar Association (MBA) calling for the suspension of Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed pending an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct. Hameed is under investigation by both the police and Judicial Service Commission (JSC) over the circulation of at least three sex videos apparently depicting him fornicating with unidentified foreign women.

Earlier this year, Faiz said that the current seven-member bench of the Supreme Court cannot be abolished and will continue to remain as the highest court of the country as long as the Maldives remains a democracy. In July 2012, the Chief Justice also said the death penalty can be executed within the existing justice system of the Maldives.

Death penalty controversy

While the Maldives still issues death sentences, these have traditionally been commuted to life sentences by presidential decree since the execution of Hakim Didi in 1954, for the crime of practicing black magic.

Death penalty legislation was presented to parliament in June by government-aligned Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed to implement the death penalty by hanging if the Supreme Court upheld a death sentence passed by a lower court. The legislation was put to a vote to decide whether or not to proceed with the bill at committee stage and was ultimately rejected 26-18 with no abstentions.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP said at the time that the party’s parliamentary group had opted to throw out the bill on the grounds that it would be “irresponsible” to approve such measures with ongoing concerns held by itself and international experts over the functioning of the country’s judiciary.

The party additionally criticised the proposed bill as being irrelevant, arguing that the country’s draft penal code – a recent issue of contention between MPs and certain political parties – already included provisions for the death sentence as outlined under Islamic Sharia.

Recent calls for presidential clemency to be blocked led Attorney General (AG) Azima Shukoor to draft a bill favouring the implementation of the penalty via lethal injection. It was met with opposition by several religious groups such as the NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf, which called for the draft to be amended in favour of beheadings or firing squads.

Minivan News understands that the bill submitted by the AG remains open for comments on potential amendments.

More recently, the state called for a High Court verdict on whether the practice of presidential clemency can be annulled.

Eariler this year, the UN country team in the Maldives issued a statement calling for the abolition of both corporal punishment and the death penalty in the Maldives.

Additionally, the state’s stance to review implementation of death sentences has led to strong criticism from certain human rights-focused NGOs this year.

Speaking to Minivan News immediately following a visit to the Maldives in April 2013, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director Polly Truscott raised concerns about the recent drafting of new bills outlining implementation for executions.

She argued that even in practice, such bills would be deemed as a human rights violation, with the NGO maintaining that there remained no research to support the assertion that executing criminals served as an effective deterrent for serious crimes.

She noted this was a particular concern considering the recent findings of various international experts such as UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Judiciary, Gabriela Knaul, regarding the politicised nature of the country’s judicial system.

“To leave Sharia law to the discretion of individual judges is something we believe would be a bad idea,” she said at the time.

In May this year, Amnesty International condemned the sentencing of two 18 year-olds to death for a murder committed while they were minors, and called on Maldivian government authorities to commute the sentence.

Meanwhile, a survey of the leading criminologists in the United States conducted in 2009 found that 88 percent of the country’s top criminologists “did not believe” that the death penalty is a “proven deterrent to homicide”.

The study, Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates? The Views of Leading Criminologists published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, also found that 87 percent of the expert criminologists believe that abolition of the death penalty would not have any significant effect on murder rates.


15 thoughts on ““Murder has to be punished with murder”: Yameen calls for death penalty to be put into practice”

  1. "Yameen explained that a death penalty sentence should only be implemented if upheld by the Supreme Court."

    Of course, who else but the protege of Yameen, Ron Jeremy, aka Ali Hameed is there to look after Yameen's interests in the Supreme Court. Life is going to get even harder for these "judges". The poor bastards are going to have sentence people to death.

    Expect record bookings for Colombo hotels and brothels whilst these esteemed "judges" recover from their ordeals. Forward with democracy. Yameen has once again show that he is the only credible candidate.

  2. Like in any barbaric society, in Dhivehistan thugs are employed to kill your enemies. Or you can imprison them, kill them and bury them in Dhoonidhoo or Maafushi. Now that that's becoming a bit hard, we need some legal way of getting rid of annoying people.

    Death penalty has always been legal in Dhivehistan and the draft penal code allows it as well. It's just not implemented through the courts that much. But now the DP can be revived again because extrajudicial killing is becoming too messy. Why hire thugs when you can blackmail judges to do a clean killing in their kangaroo courts? It'll also get the mullah vote and the idiot Dhivehistani vote (many Dhivehistani idiots believe that the DP is actually effective and like all angry frustrated peasants who have lost loved ones, is hungry for blood).

  3. If death penalty is implemented, Yaantey should be killed first.


    1) Distributing heroin to youth, while wearing a mundu.

    2) Stealing over 800 million to fund his illegal empire

    3) Being part of the Maumoon regime.

  4. People have different opinions and different perspectives. What you think is right will always be wrong to some. This country is very small but unfortunately, so many people are into politics that's why a lot of chaos, a lot of crimes, a lot of problems. No one wants to lose and all want to win. People are becoming too personal and self-righteous. Forgetting that one day, all of us will be judged.

  5. Murder is by definition wrongful killing. Wrongful killing in response to wrongful killing makes no sense. If the perpetrator of a murder is killed in response to his actions, in accordance to the law, it is killing, yes. But if it is not wrongful it is not murder.

    While I have mixed thoughts regarding the death penalty, and perhaps I am being too pedantic here, I thought it an important clarification.

    Though of course, at an ethical level one may argue that all intentional killing - even of someone who himself took a life - is always wrongful, and is thus always murder.

  6. Yameens call for death penalty is poorly researched and is mostly campaign drumming. With his pledge to reform judiciary he calls for death penalty, why not establish why not establish standard protocols within the judiciary where arbitrary verdicts would be reduced. Or why not address the blatant corruption and incompetency within judiciary first. Where the heck is the proposed penal code, and some other very relevant pieces of legislature, still in parliament. I would like to address the root causes of major violence, drugs within our society. Is scientific forensic evidence accepted in the court.

    while I do believe some people are inherently more prone to violent acts than others, and on rare cases I would support death penalty, first let there be no miscarriages of justices.

  7. For nay civilized person, this chap is not qualified to be a president. He is going to be the president and thinks, the streets will be safe by implementing death penalty. He does know why the streets are unsafe. He has a policy, like killing stray dogs on the street to make the street clean. As long as poverty, ignorance dominates, you can’t make streets safe. Is he talking about eliminating the whole Maldivian society to make his street safe? You can’t eliminate stray dogs until you annihilate every single dog. Is he talking about annihilating the Maldivian? Uneducated people are not less than dogs and if your president’s standard is this, then we salute all Maldivian, good luck, you all will be annihilated because this guy thinks you are no less then dogs and he has no other alternative to make you good people

  8. jameel wants to chop off hands, yameen want to kill, lets vote

  9. A judge was filmed saying he does the will of yameen. Then yameen comes out and says he wants the death penalty exercised as though it was his decision to exercise the death penalty and not the judges decision. Like hello people!

    I think it would be dangerous to say it, but a few of you might get a surprise to find out who his target might be. I don't believe it would be anybody from a rival party, nor do I believe it would be umar naseer. What's the bet maumoon pulls his support for yameen at the last second and gives it to this said guy.

  10. Minivan please delete my above comments they are completely counter productive to what I really would like to see, reconciliation.

  11. “Yameen wanted death penalty sentence should only be implemented if upheld by the Supreme Court.”
    yes we agree with you and first our whole nations wanted to see gayoom. yameen and there cronies to be hang to death in the public.
    you talking death penalty during your governments killed dozen of Innocents. yes yameen we want justice. first you and gayoom to be hang to death in the public


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