PPM parliamentary group leader Nihan criticises US for comments on judiciary

Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) parliamentary group leader Ahmed Nihan has suggested the United States should look closer to home before passing comment on the Maldives’ judiciary.

While speaking at a ceremony in Gaaf Dhaalu Thinadhoo yesterday, Nihan said the majority of the countries issuing statements on the Maldivian judiciary do so without considering their domestic circumstances.

“They are afraid to talk about their own courthouses and the rights of their citizens. For example America, one of the biggest critics, is at the verge of killing black people on sight,” Haveeru has reported Nihan as saying.

“The countries which remain quiet, even as Israel continues to kill off people in the Middle East, Al-Quddus area – they are pointing their fingers at others,” he continued.

Speaking with Minivan News today, the Villimalé MP has suggested his words had been taken out of context by local media, though he defended them as being based upon facts, defending his right to freedom of expression.

Nihan’s comments appeared to refer to two recent incidents in the US in which individuals died at the hands of police officers, prompting nationwide civil rights protests.

During a visit to the Maldives this week US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal said that judicial independence is still an issue in the Maldives, despite the young democracy’s accomplishments.

The comments came just days after the removal of two Supreme Court judges by the People’s Majlis, in a move condemned as unconstitutional by both local and international civil society groups, as well as the Maldives’ Civil Court.

Numerous Commonwealth organisations said the move had “severely jeopardised” the independence of the judiciary, while the International Commission of Jurists said the “astonishingly arbitrary” decision had “effectively decapitated the country’s judiciary”.

Nihan told Minivan News today that there was no reason why the Maldives should act upon “planned and political” statements from European countries either.

The government, and President Yameen in particular, has heavily criticised the EU for what it regards as interference in the internal affairs of the country, suggesting it had prompted the Maldives to look increasingly to China as a development partner.

When asked about the impact of his comments on diplomatic relations, Nihan said that he believed that there should be no impact as Maldives has the right to defend itself from its critics in the international arena.

Meanwhile, a PPM press release on Thursday (December 18) had slammed what it termed attempts to bring the Maldives into disrepute by Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Ibrahim Gasim, who suggested that Maldives was facing international censure over the removal of Supreme Court judges.

“We’re giving a bad signal. [We are] talking about comments made about the Maldives looking at statements from America and the commonwealth,” the business tycoon was quoted as saying in local media.

Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Justice Muthasim Adnan were removed following the passage of government-sponsored amendments to the Judicature Act, which proposed reducing the number of judges on the apex court from seven to five.

Following ratification of the amendments by President Abdulla Yameen, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) promptly recommended the dismissal of Faiz and Adnan, which was approved by parliament on December 14 with 53 votes in favour and 21 against.

Related to this story

PPM accuses JP of misleading public, bringing government into disrepute

ICJ says Majlis has “decapitated the country’s judiciary”

Judicial independence still an issue in Maldives, says US assistant secretary of state

Judicial independence, rule of law “severely jeopardised” in the Maldives, says Commonwealth organisations


7 thoughts on “PPM parliamentary group leader Nihan criticises US for comments on judiciary”

  1. I suppose Chinese Aid comes with no strings attached, as oppose to Western Aid.

    "don't burn your bridges behind you"

  2. MP Nihan is brainless and usually shouts utter nonsense as part of his political rhetoric. Most of the time people don't pay much notice to this idiot.

    But this time he has gone too far. His allegations against the United States of targeting her own black population is insulting and completely out of line for the Parliamentary Leader of the ruling party.

    The statement from the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal was in fact very balanced and with little criticism of the Government.

    By jumping at every criticism in this manner only highlights how immature the government and its leaders are in managing diplomacy and bilateral relations.

  3. There's an old saying about people in glass houses and stones...

    Nihan seems to have forgotten about the glass house he's living in!

  4. I think personal vendettas got the better of many here, and as a fellow human being who strongely believe in freedom of expression and civil liberties MP Nihan has stood up for what's right here.

    How can a government crtitise another about judiciary flaws when justice is deprived for the innocent in their own turf? Let's not even get started on the US foreign policy and military campaigns. I believe more politicians should stand up like Nihan and voice out their concerns when a fellow human being is deprived of justice.

    This is not the first time an African American has been shot dead in America by a police officer for no legitimate reason and his family and loved ones are deprived of justice. We know how it felt on us when Evan Naseem was barbarically murdered.

    So let us not hold personal grudges and stand for what's right. After all we are same inside even if we come of different ethnic backgrounds, social groups and even if we share differences in religious and political ideologies.

  5. Maldives is worse than Israel. Why?

    Because most call themselves 100% muslims while being CRUELER than zionists.


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