The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) held a press conference this morning to present their annual report for 2009 on human rights in the Maldives.
The press conference was led by President of the Commission Ahmed Saleem and Vice President Mohamed Zahid.
The Commission expressed concern and regret that when MPs debate on bills presented at the People’s Majlis, they sometimes ignore the Commission’s comments.
The report mentions complaints made by the public directly to the HRCM.
Out of 490 total complaints made in 2009, 322 were resolved and 168 are still pending.
The highest number of complaints, 139, were job-related cases. The HRCM said most of these complaints were from people working at resorts. Thirty-seven of these cases are still unresolved.
The second highest number was relating to housing and property rights, the HRCM having received 57 complaints last year, 26 of which are still pending.
Police-related complaints amounted to 55, and eight were related to violence (all of these being marked as ‘resolved’).
Two complaints were relating to murder. Both are still pending investigation.
There were 16 complaints relating to child abuse, which was one of the issues they listed as their main priority to tackle this year. Nine are pending investigation.
The report claims the crime rates in the country have risen. It reads that communities in the Maldives have reached a state of fear mainly because of “failure to enforce sentences for convicts.”
It adds that “a large number of convicts are loose in society.”
Complaints relating to the judiciary system were 31, ten of which are still unresolved.
Problems with riots in jails were also listed as a main priority.
Members of the HRCM visited several jails last year including Maafushi jail, Malé jail, Feydhu Finolhu jail and S. Gan temporary jail.
They also visited Hinmafufhi Rehabilitation centre, Dhoonidhu police custodial and the Emigration detention centre, where they conducted their research.