PPM submits amendment to make enforcement of death penalty mandatory

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has proposed an amendment to the Clemency Act (Act no 2/2010) which would make performing the death penalty mandatory in the event it was upheld by the Supreme Court.

The amendment was submitted by PPM MP Ahmed Mahloof, the third MP to submit an amendment to put the death penalty into practice.

Mahloof’s amendment would require the President to enforce any death penalty if the Supreme Court issues the verdict of death, or if the Supreme Court supports the ruling of the death penalty made by either the Criminal court or the High Court. The move would halt the current practice of the President commuting such sentences to life imprisonment.

Mahloof, in a press conference held in his party head quarters on Monday, stated that he had proposed the amendment in an effort to stop crimes of murder and violence.

He claimed people were of the view that if death penalty or capital punishment is enforced it would bring down crime, and that he had decided to propose the amendment in consultation with several people including fellow parliamentarians.

“I believe nobody would want to die. So if the death penalty is enforced, a person who is to commit a murder would clearly know that if he carries out the act, his punishment would be his life. I believe this will deter him from committing such acts,” Mahloof said.

However, Mahloof admitted that enforcement of capital punishment would not be the sole solution to the problem. He reiterated that in order to achieve a solution, the new penal code and the criminal evidence bill had to be passed.

He also stated that he has been working on drafting a separate bill which is intended to prevent ongoing violence, murder and other criminal activities.

Mahloof has proposed to amend the article 21 of the Clemency Act.

The article 21 of the existing Clemency Act states: “Even if stated otherwise in this act, if the Supreme Court issues a death sentence, or a lower court or High Court issues a death sentence and if the Supreme Court upholds that sentence, the President has the authority to relieve the sentence into a life imprisonment, after consideration of either the state of the guilty, the legal principles behind the issue, consensus of the state or the values of humanity. But once such a sentence is being relieved to a life imprisonment, the guilty shall not be eligible for pardon, under any clause of this act.”

Mahloof’s amendment to the same article reads: “Even if stated otherwise in this act, if the Supreme Court issues a death sentence, or a lower court or High Court issues a death sentence and if the Supreme Court upholds that sentence, the President shall enforce the sentence.”

In Islamic Sharia, death penalty is the punishment of a murderer (one who kills deliberately) and that he is to be killed in retaliation (Qisaas) unless the victim’s next of kin let him off or agree to accept the ‘Diyah’ (blood money).

Previously, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Rasheed and later MP Ibrahim Muthalib submitted similar amendments to the clemency act but both subsequently withdrew these.

MP Rasheed at the time said that he felt he had to present the amendment because of the increase in assaults and murder cases, which had “forced the living to live amid fear and threats.”

After the preliminary debate was concluded and he was given the opportunity to say the last word on the amendment, MP Rasheed withdrew the changes he had originally submitted to parliament citing that he withdrew the amendment because other necessary bills related to curbing criminal activities, such as the Penal Code and Criminal Justice Procedure Bill, had yet to be passed.

In April 2011, MP Ibrahim Muthalib became the second MP who had proposed amendments to Clemency act requiring the state to enforce death sentence.

MP Muthalib at the time told Minivan News that the purpose of the amendment was to uphold Islamic Shariah in the Maldives.

“[The amendment aims] to avoid human beings from changing the verdict determined by Islamic Shariah,” said Muthalib. “It’s the same bill as presented last time. [Referring to MP Rasheed’s amendment]”

On November 2010, Criminal court sentenced Mohamed Nabeel to death for the murder of Abdulla Faruhad, after reviewing the statements of witnesses and finding him guilty of the crime, making it first such sentence to be issued in a case related to gang murder.

The Judge issuing the sentence stated that article 88 clause (d) of the Penal Code of the Maldives stated that murders should be dealt accordingly to the Islamic Shariah and that persons found guilty of murder “shall be executed” if no inheritor of the victim denies the murderer to be executed, according to Islamic Shari’ah.

Previous death sentences issued in the Maldives have included (in 2005) those found to be involved in the death in custody of Evan Naseem, and the perpetrators of 1988 coup.

However none of these sentences were implemented and the guilty were given sentences of life imprisonment.

“An attempt to conceal the real truth”

Aishath Velezinee, formerly the President’s appointee to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), said the amendment was another attempt by the MPs to avoid “the real issue” and to “deceive the public”.

“The real issue for thriving crime is corruption. The constitution has recognised this and required the judiciary be checked and cleansed.  The JSC breached the constitution, and those MPs are proposing this to cover up the JSC,” Velezinee said.

“Islam upholds justice, and not only has death penalty; it has very clear qualifications for judges too. Neither MP Mahloof, nor any of the Sheikhs, has expressed alarm that the judges are far below standard and some of them are convicted criminals themselves. This is pure politics and abuse of Islam,” she added.

Velezinee also stated that she had earlier sent a letter to the Parliament highlighting the incapacities of the judiciary and the question of public trust upon the the courts and the JSC, when the amendment had earlier been proposed by MDP MP Ahmed Rasheed.

Velezinee claimed that Mahloof’s amendment was an attempt to hide what her letter had highlighted about the Criminal Court and the Judiciary as a whole.

Speaking to Minivan News, MDP MP and spokesperson, Imtiyaz Fahmy stated that the amendment was a “childish act” from MP Mahloof and that it could be a popularity stunt, especially at a time when a very “complete” and “relevant” Penal Code is about to be passed by the Parliament.

The last person to be executed in the Maldives after receiving a death sentence was in 1953 during the first republican President Mohamed Ameen. Hakim Didi was charged with attempting to assassinate President Ameen using black magic.


15 thoughts on “PPM submits amendment to make enforcement of death penalty mandatory”

  1. Ask not how to side step the Shariah law, but how you can help enforce it.

    Else, if you don't have guts for it, as it is, why do you want the whole nation to bend over it in fear?

    This is where hypocrisy and corruption comes in. Big time. Everyone opens his gaping mouth wide open and spews out gibberish, which they themselves are least bothered about enacting!

  2. So who's gonna be the first? Politicians behind the gangs?

  3. The dealth penalty in a country where there is no transparent and fair legal systen and judiciary? Pure madness and stupidity.

    We don't need to hand over any more power to the bunch of clowns acting as judges. Maybe this is the only way that Mahlouf can think of to get rid of all the politicians that are a threat to PPM.

  4. the country's judiciary pronounced inefficient (ICJ report) and judges verdict resulting in the political affiliations a judge has with politicians are some of the reasons why one should advocate to delay enforcement of death penalty.( e.g. remember there was an article published on the news paper regarding Azima Shakoor's sms to abloghazee ).other reasons include lack of an independent forensic institution in the country,and lack of necessary laws such as evidence act, witness protection act and penal code ( which by the way all political parties representing in the parliament has an imminent role to play since it has been in the work in progress state for the past 7 years or so ( i am referring to MDP MP's specially).

  5. This is ridiculous. How can we trust this Judiciary with anything let alone the death penalty?

    It is very good saying that the death penalty would halt all these murders but at this rate we would also be killing a lot of innocent people with a Judiciary like this and an incompetent Police Force.

    I would rather we imprison people rather that the State kill innocent people under the death penalty.

  6. @heartened to read the above comments, appeal to more Maldivians to write out here, speak out in condemnation of this grotesque betrayal and abuse of the deeply Just essence of Islam here!

    It should be way beneath the dignity of any striving to be true to the deeply Just and "PROGRESSIVE" essence of Islam to even think of implementing the death penalty before Shariah Law reform is introduced.

    The full and free use of science in every case brought before the law, the creation of a much more objective decision making procedure through the creation of a new, highly educated, universally trusted judiciary, a more independant and accessible appeal process... just to name a few things which need to be changed in the Maldives to ensure that the legal process meets the demand for objectivity and true justice demanded by Islamic Law.

    Shocked by Maumoon, IF this is his agenda. Despite the terrible oppression which the trappings of Maldivian society and power forced Maumoon to unleash upon his ppl, I had been convinced by Maumoon lovers that Maumoon, at heart, is a compassionate, progressive, reformist. I had even apologised for the horrible things which I had said against Maumoon in my ethnocentric ignorance. Yet IF this is truly Maumoon's agenda, then perhaps Maumoon truly is devoid of inner Justice.

    Whatever happened to the sentiment driving the Maumoon foundation that "Islam is a Religion of tolerance..."

    The push for the death penalty feels, in this scenarion feels driven by a spirit of malicious vengeance. I smell a vile hunger for vengeance, what I suspect these people truly want goes WAY beyond the parameters of Qisaas (Qisaas requires equity.) This stinks like only wounded narcissistic ego lust can, and, in this context, I feel nothing remotely Islamic about the push for the death penalty.

  7. Ben, I am against Gayoom as anyone but I cannot see his hand behind this. He had 30 years to bring back the death penalty( I know it is on the books ) but cannot see him trying to bring this back now.
    We must also not forget that Gayoom plays the religious card for his own gain and by no means is a so called fundamentalist at all.

  8. Apart from the fact that capital punishment is no option for a civilized society ( the USA heading the hordes of barbarians )...knowing how CORRUPT and hence unjust our justice system is, one cannot but shudder with the imagination of capital punishment introduced. A first and efficient step in fighting the overpopulation!!!

  9. Maldives is not overpopulated.

    The PPM thugs just Mal'e-centrized everything just so they could rule more easily.

  10. Good, so first people to be executed will be the 50 Police who mutinied on 7th feb 2012. Follow by the people who supported them.

  11. The idea is good
    but you don't have the courage to pass the bill what you all need is publicity
    i heard some one in the majlis sells a vote at 200k do you know him Mahloof

  12. That is an admirable goal! Our country is overpopulated by zionist sympathizers, apostates and harlots.


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