Religious NGO “Muslimunge Gulhun” yesterday told local media that it is organising a demonstration calling on the state to implement and enact the death penalty.
The demonstration, to be called ‘Thanfeez’ – translated as “implement – is scheduled to be held at 4:oopm on Friday (October 19) at the Artificial Beach area of Male’.
The demonstration will mainly focus on advocating for the death penalty, which organisers believe will to bring an end to murders occurring in the Maldives, according to a press briefing held at Muslimunge Gulhun head office. The NGO further stated that the demonstrations would also be used to advocate for the penalties of other crimes to be aligned with Islamic Sharia.
Minivan News was unable to locate contact details for the NGO, while Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Shaheem Ali Saeed and State Minister for Islamic Affairs Mohamed Didi were not responding to calls at the time of press.
However, one event organiser, Ajnadh Ali, is quoted in local media as saying that participants of the demonstration were expected to range from religious scholars to young people with a love for Islam. He further claimed that the demonstration was being planned by people that did not directly represent any specific organisation.
Organiser Sheikh Azmath Jameel stated, “The country has come to the state it is at now because the penalties laid out in Islamic Sharia have not been implemented. I call on every Muslim to join this demonstration.”
Ali Nazeer, another of the event’s organisers, spoke against opening up issues like death penalty to public debate, adding any such discussions should not be entertained in fear of how the international community may react to the implementation of Islamic Sharia.
Although death sentences are issued by courts in the Maldives, traditionally those sentences are commuted to life imprisonment under the power vested in the President.
From January 2001 to December 2010, a total of 14 people were sentenced to death by the courts. None of these sentences have been carried out.
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.
However, the government of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has announced its intention to submit a bill to parliament to facilitate the implementation of the death penalty.