IPU to send human rights fact-finding mission to Maldives

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has decided to send a human rights mission to the Maldives “to gather first-hand information” on cases involving human rights abuses and political intimidation of MPs.

The decision was adopted by the IPU during its 127th Assembly in Quebec City, Canada, upon the recommendation of its Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.

In a press release on Wednesday following the decision to send the fact-finding mission, the IPU expressed concern with the “on-going climate of violence and confrontation in the Maldives, expressing shock at the recent killing of MP Afrasheem Ali.”

“In a resolution on the case of 19 MPs from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), alleged victims of excessive violence, arbitrary arrests and criminal charges believed to be politically motivated, the Organisation is similarly perturbed by reports of renewed ill-treatment, detention and harassment by law enforcement officers,” the statement read.

“Maldives has been in political crisis since February when incumbent President Mohamed Nasheed was replaced by his Vice-President Mohamed Waheed. There has been growing international concern at the political intimidation and serious outbreaks of violence in the country.”

Aside from the concerned MPs in the human rights abuse cases, the press release added that the IPU mission will meet officials from the government, parliament and judiciary “at the invitation of the Maldives government.”

MDP MP for Galolhu North, Eva Abdulla, participated in the meeting of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians on October 21.

In March, the MDP parliamentary group submitted cases alleging police brutality against the former ruling party’s MPs to the IPU’s human rights committee at the 126th Assembly held at Kampala, Uganda.

During the same meeting, Eva was unanimously elected as a member of the IPU’s Committee of Women Parliamentarians.

MDP Chairperson 'Reeko' Moosa Manik in intensive care.

The cases concerned targeted police brutality against MDP MPs on February 7 and 8, in particular on the latter date during a heavy-handed police crackdown on an MDP protest march that left scores injured and hospitalised, including former MDP parliamentary group leader and Hulhu-Henveiru MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik and Maafanu South MP Ibrahim Rasheed ‘Bonda’.

Three classified reports by the IPU concerning police brutality against MDP MPs have been shared with parliament and the executive since the transfer of presidential power on February 7, the party revealed this week.

No charges have been pressed to date against police officers of the Special Operations (SO) unit caught on camera beating civilians and MDP MPs.

The IPU is a global organisation of parliaments, established in 1889. It works to foster coordination and exchange between representative institutions across the globe. The IPU also offers technical support to affiliated nations. The Maldives has been a member of the organisation since 2005.