Sentencing children to death is alarming: Amnesty International

Amnesty International has 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.

The Juvenile Court issued the death sentence to two 18 year-olds found guilty of the February 18, 2012 murder of Abdul Muheeth. Muheeth was stabbed at 1:45am near the Finance Ministry building in the capital Male’ and later died during treatment.

Following the sentencing Amnesty International issued a statement urging Maldivian authorities to commute the death sentence and stop the potential execution of the pair, who were sentenced to death after being found guilty of a murder committed when they were under 18.

“The Maldives is entering new and dangerous territory – imposing death sentences for crimes allegedly committed by children is alarming,” said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director.

“The Maldives authorities are flouting international law – anyone convicted of a crime committed when they were under 18 is exempt from the death penalty.

“The authorities must immediately reverse these death sentences, and the prosecution must not try to uphold the death sentences in any appeals,” Truscott added.

Amnesty International also called for the sentences of other prisoners on death row to be commuted, the establishment of an official moratorium on executions, as well as the abolition of the death penalty.

“Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. There is no convincing evidence that the death penalty works as a special deterrent against crime,” said Truscott.

On December 30, 2012 the Juvenile Court finished taking statements from the heirs of Abdul Muheeth, where all approved passing the death sentence against the trial’s defendants should they be found guilty.

In March, Police Inspector Abdulla Satheeh said Muheeth was mistakenly killed by a gang and that he was not the intended target.

Police previously announced that Muheeth was not a member of any gangs, adding that he had also held a responsible job at the time of his death.

Death penalty controversy

Article 88[d] of the Maldives Penal Code states that murders should be dealt with according to Islamic Sharia and that persons found guilty of murder “shall be executed” if no heir of the victim objects, according to Islamic Sharia.

Although the Maldives Penal Code allows for the death sentence, it has traditionally been commuted to 25 years in prison.

In October 2012, the government announced its intention to introduce a bill to the People’s Majlis in order to guide and govern the implementation of the death penalty in the country.

In December 2012, the Attorney General’s Office completed drafting a bill outlining how the death sentence should be executed in the Maldives, with lethal injection being identified as the state’s preferred method of capital punishment.

However, earlier this year religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf has called on Shukoor to amend the government’s draft bill on the implementation of death penalty, urging that convicts be beheaded or shot instead of given lethal injection.

The bill is currently pending approval by parliament, and has given rise to dissenting opinions on the matter.

This April, the Maldivian state sought a High Court ruling on the President’s discretion to commute death sentences to life imprisonment.

During a hearing on April 22, in a case filed by five citizens seeking to annul laws granting the President discretionary powers of clemency, the state attorney said the government would prefer the court itself provided a decision on the matter in accordance with Islamic Sharia.

The state attorney insisted that the decision be made by the court, despite the High Court Judges Bench emphasising that the state must provide an answer since the case concerned a constitutional matter.

The last person to be judicially executed in the Maldives was Hakim Didi, who was executed by firing squad in 1953 after being found guilty of conspiracy to murder using black magic.

Statistics show that from January 2001 to December 2010, a total of 14 people were sentenced to death by Maldivian courts.

However in all cases the sitting president has commuted such verdicts to life sentences.


13 thoughts on “Sentencing children to death is alarming: Amnesty International”

  1. The Maldivian Secret Society, Illuminati’s or Jesuits should keep the pace to fight the darkness till the lights shed every coroner of each sand bank in the tiny republic of Dhivehistanies. Every effort should be tried to separate religion from politics. Devehitanis should be taught that the only person who can protect your religion is yourself, you can’t ask others to protect your religion. Dhivehitanies should stop their moronic behavior of coming on the street to ask others to protect your religion.

  2. You are defending rodents who killed a young man in cold blood..
    Justice for bobby!

  3. Welcome to hell, Amnesty. Where the strong, the cold-hearted killers thrive, and the weak are doomed to suffer.

  4. This guy "moron" call Maldives Divehistanis to mock Maldivians. He has no idea he is also mocking the language of many central asian and north south asian countreis because they have "tan" at the end of their country name, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan. Having "tan" does not make them degradable..what a racist and ignorant guy is this "moron". I wonder how much education he has!

  5. To the guy who call "moron", in Maldivian language "tan" comes only in one place. It is the graveyard, Gaburustan. So whether you like it or not, it may be the place where you will be buried on day you have no control for yourself.

  6. "Its none of your busness" We have our laws and we will definitely follow Islamic Shairia. Dont poke your nose into other people's business.

  7. Dhivehistanis out for blood like the rival clans of ancient Hijaz. The villagers who used to faint at the sight of an amputation would now gladly disembowel to please their Arab masters. Slowly desensitized by Arab propaganda and a culture of torture by feudal lords, Dhivehistanis reach for each other's throats like angry roosters, while the real criminals, the hypocritical mullahs and the criminal elite watch with glee.

  8. Amnesty is need to protect the rights of the murderers and the person who got killed and their family members have no rights at all.

    We need to pray and obey Amnesty and they are condemning to provide the justice for the people and the family who had suffered.

    Maldivian should respect Amnesty and they are the supreme authority and they are calling to our Government and society to provide full protection for thugs, killers and we must listen to these idiots.

  9. @adamhussain

    If you want other countries to stop bothering us you don't take their aid. If you take their aid they have the right to call out our shit.

  10. I wish Amnesty is as concerned about the wholesale murders of civilians by Syrian traitor Bashar. Me thinks our minister Shaheem is even better than Amnesty in his concern. Almost everyday he asks his fb friends and enemies to pray for the victims of this shythan. Even praying when we cannot do anything about is better than these useless statements they (amnesty) sends out defending the heartless murderers of Bobby.

  11. Be it teenagers or adults, if they commit premeditated murder, then they should be punished.

    The punishment will be decided by the constitution, which is written by the Parliamentarians. And they are elected by the people. So, its the peoples say.

  12. Be it teenagers, adults or infants, if they commit premeditated murder, then they should be punished.


Comments are closed.