State Foreign Minister Dunya attacks Amnesty report as “heavily biased”

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s daughter and current Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dunya Maumoon, in a press conference today dismissed the international human rights NGO Amnesty International’s report on the Maldives.

The report titled “The other side of paradise – a human rights crisis in the Maldives” chronicled the human rights abuses in the country that took place following the controversial transfer of power.

The report detailed a number of incidents of police brutality on February 8, including attacks on Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs Eva Abdulla and Mariya Didi.

“The overall objective of these violent attacks has been to silence peaceful government critics and stifle public debate about the current political situation,” said the report.

“Based on Amnesty International’s interviews with survivors of these violent attacks, it appears that many were targeted by security forces because they were MDP ministers, parliamentarians or supporters,” it read.

The report recommended that the Maldivian government “ensure prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations into allegations of violence by officials.”

“Those suspected of offences involving such violations, irrespective of rank or status, must be prosecuted in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness,” the report read.

Speaking to members of the press – who did not include opposition-aligned Raajje TV – Dunya  stated that the majority of the allegations stated in the “heavily biased” report were not true

“I am not saying that nothing happened. There were incidents that took place. But the report did not highlight on the arson attacks that took place in Addu City on February 8,” she said.

She further went on to stress that Amnesty must verify information that they receive before deciding its factual accuracy.

“Instead of just listening to just one party, Amnesty must thoroughly observe the happenings that take place in the Maldives,” she stressed.

Furthermore, the state minister stated that it was not the government’s wish to comment on “reports like that”, but “said it does not mean that government is dismissing all the reports that came out, concerning human rights abuses in the country”.

However, Amnesty’s researcher in the Maldives, Abbas Faiz, had a dissenting view.

“Without an end to – and accountability for – these human rights violations, any attempt at political reconciliation in the Maldives will be meaningless,” he said

Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs, Mohamed Jameel Ahmed earlier made similar remarks on the report as Dunya, criticising Amnesty International for failing to seek the comments from the government.

“They had not sought any comments from the Maldives government. I’m extremely disappointed that a group advocating for fairness and equal treatment had released a report based on just one side of the story,” Jameel told local media at the time.

“An international group of the caliber of Amnesty should have heard the other side as well. But they had failed to obtain our comments,” Jameel said.

The Amnesty report recounts sustained and pre-meditated beatings of protesters with a variety of weapons during the violent crackdown.

Some of those interviewed reported people being attacked in their hospital beds, whilst others recalled torture and further degradation whilst in detention.

Whilst Amnesty stated that several of its human rights recommendations were reflected in the Commission of National Inquiry’s (CNI) report, which was released on August 30, but Jameel argued that the CNI had highlighted misdemeanors of protesters which did not make it into the Amnesty report.

“CNI (Commission of National Inquiry) report had clearly highlighted the actions of demonstrators during protests in the Maldives. The foreign observers labelled the actions of demonstrators as cowboy tactics,” Jameel told Haveeru.

In their closing observations, Professor John Packer and Sir Bruce Robertson, advisers to CNI appeared critical of the anti-government protesters.

“Some would want to call an example of the rights of freedom of expression and assembly. In reality it is rather more bully boy tactics involving actual and threatened intimidation by a violent mob,” reported Packer and Robertson.

“The demonstrators undermine the peace and stability, carry out attacks while being inebriated, carry out attacks with sharp objects and damage private property. Even internationally such actions are regarded as violence. However, the Amnesty report has ignored all such things. It is extremely one sided and unjust,” said Jameel.

However, in relation to Jameel’s remarks, Amnesty International’s spokesperson rebutted the claims contesting its impartiality.

“Amnesty International is an independent and impartial human rights organisation without any political affiliation. We are not alone in highlighting the human rights violations since the transfer of power this year,” he said.

He also dismissed Home Minister’s remarks that the NGO had failed in getting the remarks of the government.

“In compiling our report we talked at length with government and police officials in Malé and Addu during our visit to the country in late February and early March. On the occasions they responded we have included their comments in our documents,” he said.


19 thoughts on “State Foreign Minister Dunya attacks Amnesty report as “heavily biased””

  1. Amnesty International is an organisation that came to know Maldives exist because of Anni. So why complain if their report is biassed. Ha.

  2. She has such smooth skin, that Dhunya.

    I wonder how much botox she uses? Let's find out.

  3. I thought Amnesty international is an organization that keeps watch on systematic abuse of powers and violation of human rights under the guise of State authorities or any actor who has enough power and influence to keep civilian under their control by using extreme force. The mob violence and act of criminals does not come under their mandatory. I think someone has to teach them international norms and bindings. It seems they have no sense of rational as they have already lost their sanity by defending their ill-gotten positions

  4. one of the 15 criteria they measure countries to give the human rights index is governments towards homosexuals. if the govt is harsh with them, jail them, then the country gets a poor index. my question is why only homosexuality? how about bestiality or necrophilia? who concocted the 15 criteria to measure human rights index? what was the rationale behind that? Does any amnesty guy know this?

  5. Will Gayoom or any of of his belonging, will they every know to talk truth,

    Its Gayoom who told that he didn't know any about prison' When the QRF was torturing people,In prison, But he was the highest command during the time.Just don't believe a anything they say

  6. Ironic that Bahrain has just agreed to comply with 90% of the UNHRC conditions and change their laws to fall in line with the rest of civilised society. This was on the strength of reports from Amnesty Internationals submitted to the UN over a number of years. Bahrain is a country with influence and an economic infrastructure to resist outside politicial pressure or so they believed, until this week.

    What makes a insignificant official of a tiny group of islands who is only in a position of power due to birth think she knows better than a internationally recognised body of people who have earned the respect of countless millions across the world for voicing the facts of what corrupt governments subject their public to.

    What qualifies this woman to be Minister of State for Foreign Affairs? Daddy owns the country and she has travelled abroad to Foreign lands to spend money belonging to the Maldivian people!!!!

  7. Amnesty was biased in this case and will continue to be perceived as such.

    Mainly because it jumped the gun and published a report based on one side of a story which involves political warfare between two opposing tribes.

    This is not a case of mere excessive use of authority. Nasheed used the security forces to batter and arrest the opposition when he was in power. The first day of the Waheed administration saw similar tactics on the side of the security forces. However there has never been a repeat of the 8th Feb misconduct to the credit of the police and the MNDF.

    Amnesty by failing to report on excessive use of force in the Nasheed regime and jumping on one instance of police misconduct (gross that it may be) has been and will continue to be perceived as an MDP mouthpiece in the Maldives.

    As I have said before it is quite sad that an organization formed for nobler goals has been exposed to an entire population as a political tool.

  8. It is pointless arguing with Amnesty. Nobody gives a damn even when the US Administration get regularly pissed off with Amnesty and spew rhetoric in their defense. People believe Amnesty's impartiality and always suspect governments with far right extremist influence do systematically abuse their population in order to sustain the economic interests of their rich patrons. Maldives and Dhunya Maumoon, representing her father's extreme right wing Facist ideology are such pathetic servants of the moneyed elite.

  9. can someone please tell me which country has ever taken amnesty reports seriously or acted on their recommendations? none, as far as i know. usa, israel, uk or even the anni administration. if anyone here can remember how ex-foreign minister naseem dismissed amnesty's criticism over hilath's arrest. if i can remember correctly naseem said something like, amnesty's report isnt that significant and nobody cares about what they say. i read the news here on minivan. so whats the big deal when dhuyna dismissed amnesty report?

  10. If Gayoom was to be prosecuted for his crimes against his people, corruption within his family and many others, probably a proper court would sentence him harshly.

    Who would come to his rescue???? The same people Duniya is talking against. Amnesty International has bailed out so many dictators as we all know

    I thought the minister was an educated person not to even mention such international bodies that are legal and needed in society today. If it was Umar Nasir the upcoming dictator..we would understand otherwise its a BIG minus for you Minister

  11. The person who comes out as ignorant and biased from all of this is Dunya Gayoom herself. She simply cannot brush over the events preceding the so called 8th Feb Addu arson attacks as "things did happen", perhaps there was a link to the injustices perpetrated before? Duh. As for dismissing an organization of the weight and scale of Amnesty International, as daughter of former human rights abuser extraordinaire and now in her capacity as State Foreign Minister (is the Foreign Minister himself only a Twitter Minister?) , this all smacks of derogatory defensiveness. Shame.Maldivians deserve (much) better.

  12. Dismissal in words cannot dismiss the action. All reports cannot be CNI reports for the regime. Actually, the Commission for National Inquiry had a fundamental problem of being biased in its composition itself.

    The CNI as reconstituted had its first three members directly appointed by the coup-installed leader Dr Manik while there was only one member nominated by the ousted president. The rest were apparently nominated by the Commonwealth or international community of whom the Singaporean retired judge was declared by one of his fellow lawyers as corrupt, and said speaking in a recorded message he said that the CNI co-chaired by this judge would dismiss that it was a coup that overthrew the president Nasheed's government.

    The brutality in which the rebel regime’s police attacked the pro-Nasheed protest the day after the coup was unimaginable even in a war of arch enemies like Israel and Palestine. Respect for human rights was out of question. The police or the security forces did not show respect to their religion which provides sufficient guarantee in the Sharia, if it is followed.

    The present regime comprises members of the family, friends, and long-time colleagues and/or associates of former president Gayoom. His rule of 30 years is well known for its brutality against its critics. He did not spare one even from his in-law relations. One of his brothers-in-law was once known to be interested in the presidential office and was the closest rival in the parliamentary nomination of a presidential candidate.

    The man lost his favour with Gayoom and was forced to flee after allegations of betrayal. He was later tried in absentia.

  13. Ummm what about "members of the family, friends, and long-time colleagues and/or associates of former president Gayoom" in MDP?

  14. @tsk tsk. you must be delusion to presume that amnesty is a political tool.. heheh... please leek at the institution's history...Nasheed is favored because he speaks of reality and does not try and influence ... if what commentators here say about your real identity... kutti.... then I don't way to argue with you...

  15. I am one of the volunteers with Amnesty International. The organization is backed by ordinary people like me who want a better world, free from dictatorship, torture, biased judges, broken court systems, police brutality and censorship (and more). The organization won the Nobel Peace prize in 1977. We take no money from governments in order to be free from bias and we work very hard to verify all our reports using multiple sources. I suspect many of those who are attacking Amnesty in the comment section here get money from the government they are defending and are therefore much more bias than we are. We are truly international with 52 sections on every continent in the world (except Antarctica)and we report on every country in the world and we are not surprised that none seems to like us for that. However, they do often listen and even consult us because our research is excellent and we work very very hard to maintain that standard. The selfless volunteers in Amnesty International who give money or write letters for people they don't even know to help them with oppressive governments are an inspiration to me. Is this government who took power under very questionable circumstances with a huge police presence, who routinely beats those who protest and who refuses to have an election really morally superior? I don't think so.


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