The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has expressed concern over growing gang violence in the wake of the stabbing murder of a 17 year-old last Friday, describing the surge in violence as an obstacle to people “obtaining the freedom and rights guaranteed them in the Constitution.”
“We are very concerned that murder with sharp objects, gang wars and other crimes are now being conducted publicly,’’ HRCM said in a statement.
“It is with regret that we note that it has reached a situation where it is difficult for the people to live a normal life, and has become an obstacle for people to obtain the freedom and rights guaranteed by the Constitution.”
The commission claimed that the issue caused trouble for institutions of the state and obstructed the duties of those institutions.
“The commission has recently expressed concern over the issue and repeatedly called on the concerned authorities to pave way for a peaceful society for eternity,’’ the Commission said. “We note that the release of people charged with perilous crimes such as murder has caused them to repeat the crimes and that the agencies responsible for implementation of sentences are not taking necessary measurements.’’
The commission called on the Home Ministry and the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Services (DPRS) to fulfill its duties and take action quickly.
“We call on the parliament to expedite necessary bills such as the bill on the penal code, the criminal procedure bill, the evidence bill, parole bill and the bill on prohibiting threatening and using sharp objects and dangerous weapons,’’ HRCM said.
“We also appeal everyone to conduct all actions bound by the laws and in accordance with Islamic principles and democracy.’’
Recent gang violence reported
Last Saturday, a 17 year-old boy was stabbed in the leg and died after more than eight hours of treatment at Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital IGMH, according to a person familiar with the matter. A total of six men were stabbed during over the weekend.
On May 3, two men on a motorbike stabbed a 16 year old child in front of two police officers on Ameenee Magu near Imadudeen School, before fleeing.
On May 10, NGOs held discussion meeting on the new drug bill, aimed at reducing the number of drug addicts and gang violence in the Maldives.
On May 31, daily newspaper Haveeru reported simultaneous outbursts of violence near Athama Palace and Maafaanu Stadium on May 29, while another third victim was stabbed outside Galolhu police station the following day.
A 14 year old boy was also stabbed eight times on May 28, the newspaper reported, after he was reportedly mistaken by a gang for somebody else.
On June 1, a squad of masked police officers during a special operation destroyed the outer wall of Galolhu Masodige, a house police believed was being used by gangs to gather and hide weapons.
On June 16, a group of more than 10 men beat and stabbed a 19 year old man in Male’ in front of many witnesses, as he was walking down a street in Mahchangolhi, Male’.
On June 20, a 16 year-old boy was stabbed by a group of four men. The men rode up on motorbikes as the victim was near Fen building on Ameenee Magu, a person familiar with the victim told Minivan News.