Two sentenced to death over crimes committed as minors

The juvenile court has today sentenced two young men to death over a murder committed when the pair were minors, but the two are unlikely to face the death penalty.

The two unnamed 19-year-olds denied charges over the stabbing and death of Hussain Waheed in Malé in December 2013. They were 16 at the time.

Waheed had died of heart failure due to the stab wounds to his chest.

Speaking at the UN human rights council last week, legal affairs secretary at the president’s office, Aishath Bisham, said “it would be legally impossible to issue the death sentence” if the accused denies murder charges at any stage of prosecution.

One of the suspects was charged with murder while the other was charged with being an accomplice to the murder. Another 14-year-old was arrested at the time and charged with assaulting an individual on the scene.

The juvenile court sentenced the pair based on testimony by four eyewitnesses. All nine heirs of the victim have asked the court to implement the death penalty.

In 2014, the Maldives repealed a six-decade-old de facto moratorium on the death penalty, ostensibly to tackle a surge in fatal stabbings. Over 30 people have been killed in violent crimes in the past seven years.

Under the new regulations, individuals as young as seven years of age can be sentenced to death if convicted of wilful murder.

The juvenile court has now sentenced a total of four young men to death for murders committed when they were minors. Two young men convicted of wilful murder in the death of Abdul ‘Bobby’ Muheeth were also sentenced to death in May 2013.

The government says capital punishment can only be enforced if all three tiers of the judiciary find the accused to be guilty and if all heirs of the victim request the death penalty. Bisham also said the president is required to review if due process was followed before he enforces the death sentence.

The last person executed in the Maldives was Hakim Didi, who was found guilty of practicing black magic in 1953.

The common practice has since been for the president to commute all death sentences to life imprisonment through powers vested in him by the Clemency Act. The new regulations has revoked president’s authority.

Several countries at the Universal Periodic Review, including France, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Namibia, Spain, Australia and Montenegro expressed concern over Maldives’ decision to end the unofficial moratorium on the death penalty.


Maldives defends death penalty and flogging

The Maldives has defended the death penalty for murder and flogging for fornication at a UN human rights review on Wednesday, stating the punishments are mandatory in Islamic law.

Several countries including France, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Namibia, Spain, Australia and Montenegro expressed concern over Maldives’ decision to end a six-decade moratorium on the death penalty last year.

However, speaking to the UN human rights council in Geneva, legal affairs secretary Aishath Bisham said: “We would like to stress that Islamic principles dictate that its legal measures are to be enforced and regulated by law and process after necessarily subjecting it to rigorous judicial framework.”

The Maldives constitutional assembly had declared Islam to be the state religion and the basis of all laws enacted in the country, and requires judges to refer to Islamic law, she noted.

However, the enforcement of the death penalty and flogging are “never intended to be arbitrary or capricious,” she said.

The former UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay and Amnesty International have called on the Maldives to abolish flogging, describing it as an inhumane and degrading treatment.

In 2012, the juvenile court’s decision to flog a 15-year-old rape victim sparked international outrage and led the high court to overturn the ruling.

Information previously made available by the Department of Judicial Administration showed that, while applicable to both men and women, flogging is largely discriminatory against women in practice.

But Bisham said the enforcement of flogging is never served “as a retributive penalty” and primarily serves as a deterrent.

“It is strictly regulated and enforced only when the appeal or its opportunity is exhausted and is executed with civility. The respective regulations disallow flogging on any woman found to be mentally incompetent, or if there is a potential risk to the person’s life, limb or even the function of his her senses.

“Flogging is never enforced on children and pregnant women. The practice itself is with minimal force, with absolutely no instances of nudity or exposure, in full recognition of the person’s right to dignity constitutionally prescribed in the Maldives,” she added.

The standard of proof required in proving an offence prescribed in Islamic law is “far stricter than the conventional threshold of beyond reasonable doubt.”

Flogging is enforced in the Maldives in only five out of a potential 425 offences, she said.

Meanwhile, the death penalty will be enforced in cases of wilful murder alone, and only if the accused confesses in a court of law and when all three tiers of the judiciary deem the accused guilty, she said.

If the accused denies the charges at any stage of prosecution, it will be legally impossible to issue the death sentence, she said.

The government will “urgently strengthen” the legislative and judicial framework in cases of flogging and death penalty and will continuously subject the process to periodic independent assessments, she added.

The Maldives also maintained reservations on the call for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and freedom of religion.

“Provisions on the country’s Islamic identity are evident in every single draft of constitution ever adopted all throughout our constitutional history. The government emphasises proudly that Islam has been and will remain as the defining part of the nation, its culture, and its people,” she stressed.


Maldives judiciary hammered in UN human rights review

Countries across the world have blasted the Maldives for it’s politicized judiciary and expressed alarm over threats to journalists and human rights defenders at a UN periodic review of human rights in Geneva today.

The imprisonment of former president Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism charges was also noted with concern by Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the United States, Canada and Australia.

But many countries welcomed new anti-torture laws and laws protecting migrant worker and women’s rights in the Maldives, and applauded progress in healthcare and education.

The UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) comes amidst heightened international scrutiny of the Maldives over political turbulence triggered by Nasheed’s arrest in February. Hundreds were arrested this weekend in a 20,000 strong anti-government protest.

Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon said the Maldives is training and building capacity of judges, and said criticism of Nasheed’s trial had “mainly focused on the process and not the merits.”

Many countries also slammed the Maldives for the Supreme Court’s decision to try members of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) for treason over a submission to the UPR.

Despite the strong criticism, the foreign ministry in a statement tonight said the human rights council had “praised Maldives for the tremendous progress it has achieved in the promotion and protection of human rights.”

Judicial reform

Expressing concern over a “lack of respect for the most basic principals of fair trial and due process” during Nasheed’s trial, Norway called on the Maldives to release the opposition leader immediately.

Germany noted a climate of growing fear in the Maldives due to increasing gang related violence, religious intolerance, and attacks and death threats faced by journalists, politicians and civil society groups.

The UK meanwhile called on the Maldives to ensure administration of justice is “fully consistent with international human rights standards” and take urgent action to protect journalists, NGOs and to investigate and prosecute individuals behind the threats.

The UK also expressed concern over arrests of opposition leaders during the mass antigovernment protest on May 1, and called for dialogue between the government and opposition parties.

Denmark noted irregularities and rushed processes in Nasheed’s trial, and recommended the “Maldives restore confidence in its legal system by ensuring the clear and unambiguous division of powers, including the indisputable independence of its judicial processes and judges.”

The United States urged the Maldives to end politically motivated prosecutions, including the Supreme Court’s prosecution of members of the human rights watchdog.

The US said it was concerned about fair trial guarantees and said Maldives must strengthen the independence of the judiciary by reforming the process by which the judicial watchdog – the Judicial Services Commission – selects and appoints judges.

Adding its voice to calls for Nasheed’s release, Canada said Maldives must reaffirm its commitment to democracy and rule of law, and institute an independent bar association.

Meanwhile, India said the judiciary must adhere to due process to maintain public trust and said the space for legitimate political dissent must be safeguarded.

Botswana, Brazil, Argentina, Slovenia, New Zealand, Ghana, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, South Korea, Bangladesh, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya and France also spoke on the need for judicial reform.

International spotlight

Responding to criticism of Nasheed’s trial, foreign minister Dunya said the case “has highlighted the profound need to work together and strengthen oversight institutions, including the judiciary and the need to bring urgent reforms to the judiciary.”

She censured Nasheed for his decision not to seek an appeal, stating appellate courts were set in place to address shortcomings by the lower courts.

Nasheed’s lawyers had decided not to appeal after the criminal court failed to provide the necessary documentation within a shortened ten-day appeal period. The opposition leader has instead appealed to president Abdulla Yameen to reduce his sentence and release him through special procedures in the Clemency Act.

On the Supreme Court’s prosecution of the human rights commission, the Maldives representative in Geneva, Geela Ali, declined to comment, stating: “as the matter is yet to be decided, we deem it inappropriate to comment on the matter just yet.”

The charges were brought in September last year under new suo moto regulations that allow the Supreme Court to prosecute and pass judgment. The case is still pending.

Dunya said the Maldives had formulated a judicial sector strategic action plan with new benchmarks for increasing efficiency, effectiveness and public confidence in the judiciary.

“Almost everyone seems to have something to say, about what they think is good for the Maldives. As a result, every baby step that the Maldives takes is fiercely debated all over the world, including in the corridors of power in key capitals,” she said.

“It is easy to criticize, but we urge you to not only do that: invest in us, bring about meaningful change.”

She insisted Maldives’ institutions must have the space to grow organically, and said meaningful democratic change cannot be imposed. Change “can only be sustained if the change is locally owned, locally driven and locally shaped,” she said.


OHCHR expresses concern over Human Rights Commission charges

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed concern over the Supreme Court’s suo moto case against the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM).

“We are deeply concerned about the case initiated by the Supreme Court of the Maldives against the five members of the Human Rights Commission of the country,” read the press briefing.

The OHCHR expressed its concerns in a press release yesterday (October 17) from spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani.

The Supreme Court has charged the HRCM with undermining the constitution and the sovereignty of the Maldives by spreading falsehoods about the judiciary in its submission for the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review.

Next year’s review – the Maldives’ second since the introduction of the process – will take place between April and May next year.

The OHCHR statement noted that, in making the UPR submission, the commission had operated in line with international principles governing national institutions.

The OHCHR urged the government to “firmly defend the independence of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives in line with the commitments made during the first UPR of the Maldives in 2011.”

“The government has a responsibility to ensure a safe operating space for the commission and for civil society actors in the country, so that they are able to cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms without fear of reprisals,” read the press release.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has also written directly to the Maldivian Government to express his concerns over the issue.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has already called the case “unfortunate”, describing the court’s action as “a decision that will not help restore its credibility.”

The Supreme Court came under intense international criticism following its role in the 2013 presidential election, which included the annulment of the first round based on evidence later discredited by UN experts.

“Free Speech must be protected, not trampled,” said Baird late last month.

The Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions urged President Abdulla Yameen to ensure the independence of the HRCM and to guarantee immunity from prosecution for its members.

In the second court hearing held in the case on September 30, the Supreme Court denounced the submission’s section on the judiciary as “dangerous”, “irresponsible” and “poorly researched.”

The Supreme Court slammed commission members for basing criticism of the judiciary on findings from the 2013 report by UN Special Rapporteur Gabriela Knaul that it had previously rejected.

Former Judicial Service Comission member Aishath Velezinee was denied entry into the hearing after being issued a pass at the reception, with a court official telling her that she could not be let into the court room for security reasons.

In similar suo moto action in March, senior members of the Elections Commission were dismissed after being prosecuted for charged with contempt of court and disobedience to order.

Suo moto cases – unheard of in the Maldives before this year – involve the court taking the initiative to bring charges which are then overseen by its own judges.

While the President’s Office has also criticised the HRCM’s submission, suggesting that sections on the death penalty are misleading, the Maldivian Democratic Party has accused the court of undermining the commission’s mandate.


Supreme Court case against HRCM undermining commission’s mandate, says MDP

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has voiced concern over the Supreme Court suo moto case against members of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) regarding a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council last week.

In a press statement released today, the opposition party said that the members of the commission were summoned to the Supreme Court because of their criticism of the judiciary the submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

“The party believes that by initiating a suo moto, the Supreme Court is undermining the responsibilities vested by the Maldivian Constitution and international conventions on the independent commission,” read the MDP’s press statement.

Speaking to Minivan News today, parliamentary leader of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Ahmed Nihan, said that it is not the place of any member of the government or an independent body to criticise the Supreme Court.

Nihan noted that the commission was fulfilling its mandate by publishing the report but also said  the Supreme Court was carrying out its own duties by upholding the constitution.

Members of the commission were summoned one by one to the Supreme Court yesterday (September 22) and informed of the suo moto initiated by the Supreme Court.

The HRCM report criticised the growing power of the court, suggesting that control of the judiciary by the Supreme Court was damaging the lower courts.

HRCM members said yesterday that they were faced with numerous charges although they had been advised by their lawyer not to give further details. The members are scheduled to be present at a hearing tomorrow morning (September 24).

Article 27 of the HRCM act grants immunity from prosecution in relation to acts carried out as part of the commission’s duty unless a formal inquiry proves that some components in the report are proven to be false.

Earlier this year, Supreme Court used the unprecedented suo moto proceeding, in which the court acts as its own plaintiff and judge, in the removal of Elections Commission (EC) President Fuwad Thowfeek and Vice President Ahmed Fayaz.

Both were charged with contempt of court and disobedience to order as a result of testimony given to the People’s Majlis’ independent commission’s oversight committee

Through a raft of regulations enacted in recent months, the Maldives Supreme Court has sought to consolidate control over administrative affairs of the judiciary.

Changes to contempt of court regulations made in June authorised courts to initiate legal proceedings and punish individuals for any expression, action, gesture, or piece of writing “inside or outside a courtroom” that could be considered contempt of court.

The court has come under criticism both home and abroad in recent months, with a sex-tape scandal and perceived interference in the 2013 presidential elections among the issues causing controversy.


Maldives “fully implements” three of UN’s 145 human rights recommendations: UPR mid-term assessment

The Maldives has “fully implemented” only three of the UN Human Rights Council’s 145 recommendations since its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in March 2011.

A mid-term assessment of the Maldives’ commitment to human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), stated that 12 recommendations had been “partially implemented”, 33 “not implemented” – or rejected outright – while 96 recommendations received “no response”.

Recommendations fully implemented included provisions relating to accepting the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the withdrawal of certain reservations to the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The UPR report sought comment from assorted NGOs, the Maldivian state and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) in compiling the progress so far.

It noted that while the Maldivian government had made a formal commitment to provide a mid-term report, “it did not respond to our enquiry.”

“[HRCM] did not respond to our enquiry either.”

In the absence of input from the government or the country’s national human rights body, the majority of responses and comments on the recommendations were provided by three NGOS: Earthjustice & Human Rights Advocates (EJ+HRA), Friends of Maldives (FOM), and the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (GIEACPC).

Treatment of minorities

In response to a recommendation from Norway that the government try to promote tolerance towards migrants in the Maldives, FOM stated it was unaware of any efforts to prevent stigmatisation.

“The stigmatisation has risen to concerning levels, especially towards Bangladeshi, Indian and Srilankan labourers,” FOM stated.

FOM noted that a bill on the Prohibition of Human Trafficking and People Smuggling had been submitted to parliament in December 2012, but said this had not yet been tabled for discussion and had not been subject to consultation with either the public or the NGO sector.

Regarding a recommendation for laws concerning the treatment and human rights of the physically and mentally disabled, “Legislation protecting persons with physical and mental disabilities seem to be of little or no interest within lawmakers,” observed FOM. “There is very little awareness on the importance of this matter. This is particularly concerning in the areas of law enforcement. For example, there are no protocols within the police service when dealing with persons with physical or mental disabilities.”

Treatment of women and children

In response to a recommendation that the Maldives abolish corporal punishment and the practice of public flogging, particularly of women and children, GIEACPC noted that the draft penal code included a legal defence for the use of corporal punishment in the home “under the concept of ‘justifiable force’ on a child for the ‘prevention or punishment of his misconduct’, providing this does not result in ‘death, serious bodily
injury, extreme or unnecessary pain or distress’.”

“The draft was recently amended to provide for Sharia punishments, including amputation, though it is unclear as yet if this would be imposed on child offenders,” GIEACPC noted.

FOM noted that despite the government’s ratification of the CEDAW and withdrawal of reservations to certain clauses, “women in the Maldives still face corporal punishment, notably with the recent case of a 15 year-old girl condemned to flogging despite being the victim of sexual abuse.”

FOM observed that there was a “clear rejection by the judiciary to reform, and this has been a major challenge that the Parliament, Executive as well as the civil society have been facing for the past years.”

Bringing domestic laws concerning marriage, divorce, inheritance, equal rights, and sexual and domestic violence and abuse in line with CEDAW was “particularly difficult” due to the country’s extremely narrow interpretation of Sharia and its strict application, stated FOM.

Issues relating to the rights of women remained “still highly controversial between the government and NGOs”, FOM observed, noting that this was possibly due to the government’s alliance with the Adhaalath Party, “a political movement that is seen to have more fundamental views and narrow interpretations of the Islamic Sharia, which has negative effects in terms of rights of women and girls.”

FOM also highlighted a growing trend of “families withdrawing girls from school in the name of religion.”

“These girls are then coerced into marriage in ages as early as nine to twelve years. There have been no visible efforts to control this or protect the right to education of these children. Although regulations prescribe that the age for marriage is 18, religious fundamentalists take refuge in Islamic Sharia over these matters and withhold that the consent of these girls are in the hands of their fathers or guardians. No efforts to prevent or react to these incidents have been seen in the Maldives,” FOM noted.

Justice system

Despite “elevated public discontent” over the state of the judiciary, formal dialogue as to its reform had been limited, FOM noted.

Regarding a recommendation by Malaysia that the Maldives accept offers of human rights training for judges and judicial staff, FOM responded that it was “aware that several international organisations as well as some local NGOs offered funds and programs in order to enhance the knowledge of human rights for judges, and that such funds exist presently, namely with the UNDP. However the judiciary have on several occasions ignored or avoided such offers for enhancement of knowledge.”

While a voluntary code of conduct for judges had been developed by the Judicial Service Commission, “the implementation of this code is not monitored. In addition
the general public view is that the code needs several amendments.”

Meanwhile, a report containing recommendations by the UN Special Rapporteur for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers had met with no response from the government, and public dismissal by several members of parliament.

Human rights

FOM observed a “serious deterioration in [the Maldives] process of promoting and protection of human rights”, with “continued confrontations between the law enforcement and protesters calling for fundamental rights and freedoms have resulted in excessive police brutality, obstruction of the right to assembly through the amendment of the existing Regulations on Assembly, several physical attacks and threats on journalists and many more such incidents which have been ignored by the relevant authorities.”

“Members of the police force who are seen on video clips to have brutalised protesters have since been given promotions. A single case of police brutality that the Police Integrity Commission investigated and which the Prosecutor General charged for, was rejected by the Criminal Court,” FOM noted.

Responding to a recommendation by France that the Maldives ensure the safety of journalists, FOM noted that “the situation of the journalists are such that they are targeted and harassed for what they report on. Some received physical threats and it is believed that politically motivated attacks on journalists have left them fighting for their lives.”

UNHRC Panel report

A delegation from the Maldives defended the Maldives’ human rights record before the UNHRC in July 2012.

It was headed by Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel, former Justice Minister during the 30 year rule of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and co-author of a pamphlet entitled ‘President Nasheed’s devious plot to destroy the Islamic faith of Maldivians’, published in January 2012.

Dr Jameel was accompanied by State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dunya Maumoon – Gayoom’s daughter – as well as the Maldives’ Permanent Representative in Geneva, Iruthisham Adam.

Asked by a panellist whether the country was seeking to reconcile human rights with Islam, Dr Jameel responded that human rights in the Maldives streamlined with Islam “with very few minor exceptions.”

“The general acceptance of Muslim jurists is that Islamic human rights were there long before we subscribed to universal human rights,” he said.

“We declare that there are no apparent contradictions between human rights and what is there in the Maldives constitution.”

On the subject of justice, Dr Jameel emphasised that any citizen could bring their grievances before the judiciary, over which the executive had “little or no influence.”

Following the delegation’s defence, the UNHRC recommended “radical changes” to Maldivian law to ensure compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

These changes include the abolition of the death penalty, compensation for “systematic and systemic torture,” withdrawal of reservations to the ICCPR’s Article 18 regarding freedom of religion and belief, and reforming the country’s judiciary.

A panel member during the UNHRC session itself also noted the “troubling role of the judiciary at the centre” of the controversial transfer of power on February 7.

“The judiciary – which is admittedly in serious need of training and qualifications – is yet seemingly playing a role leading to the falling of governments,” the panel member observed.

Read the UPR mid-term assessment

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the UPR was conducted in 2012. The Maldives UPR held between 4 November 2010 and 27 March 2011. On 4 November 2010, the Maldives performance was reviewed, queried, debated and responded to in a 3 hour discussion in which nearly 150 recommendations were made. After this discussion, a report was compiled and in March 2011, the Maldives gave a commitment to implement 145 of those recommendations.


Women’s rights and treatment of migrant workers needs improvement: UN review

The Maldives should take steps to address the rights of migrant workers and improve on issues relating to women’s rights, matters among 130 recommendations for the Maldives made by other UN member states at the Universal Periodic Review (URP) held in Geneva on November 3.

The Universal Periodic Review is a state-driven process that reviews the human rights records of all 192 UN member states every four years, based on submissions by the government, the UN and stakeholders (including NGOs and a country’s Human Rights Commission).

Eleven states recommended that the Maldives seek to improve its treatment of migrant workers, while seven states, including Algeria, Mexico, Palestine, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Philippines and Ecuador recommended that the Maldives ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Worker and Members of their Families (ICPMW).

The Maldives was this year placed on the US State Department’s human trafficking watch-list, with exploitation of foreign workers rivaling fishing as the second most profitable sector of the Maldivian economy after tourism, according to conservative estimates of the number of Bangladeshi workers showing up at their commission in Male’ after being abandoned at the airport by unscrupulous employment agents.

Furthermore, according to information from the Maldivian Democracy Network, 23 member states recommended the Maldives take steps to combat violence against women, and remove its reservations to the Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), as well as combat traditionla stereotyping of women through education and legislation.

Child rights were also discussed, and 14 states recommend that the Maldives improve legislation to ensure the rights of children born out of wedlock, withdraw reservations to the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), prevent underage marriages and the practice of having concubines, and expedite the passage of the Juvenile Justice Act.

At the Working Group Session 49 states offered suggestions, including strengthening the independence of the Human Rights Commission (HRCM), criminalising human trafficking, strengthening the judiciary, developing a professional code of conduct for judges and providing training in human rights, increasing efforts to end discrimination against people with disabilities, and ensure that the new Penal Code was consistent with human rights.

UN member states noted particular progress in the Maldives in areas such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and assembly, the right to vote and to choose one’s leaders, and torture prevention.

However areas of particular concern were identified as women’s rights, children’s rights, freedom of religion, penal reform, judicial reform, and the practice of public flogging.

Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed, who presented the government’s UPR report, said he “had come to Geneva to listen and discuss, rather than to defend”, and was keen to take the recommendations of the international community back to the Maldives.

Dr Shaheed identifed the 10 greatest human rights challenges facing the Maldives as dealing with past human rights abuses while not putting the future at risk, democratic consolidation, strengthening the rule of law and fighting corruption, improving law and order and strengthening the capacity of the judiciary, promoting gender equality, responding to extremist religious views, and dealing with drug abuse and related criminality.

Overall, member states noted that the Maldives had made “remarkable progress”, and commended the enthusiasm with which the Maldives had compiled its submission, noting that the country remained one of the success stories of the international human rights system.

Dr Shaheed said the government would hold consultations on his return to the Maldives, and suggested a dedicated UPR debate be held in parliament as well as a cabinet session and public hearing.

“A few years ago it would have been inconceivable that a liberal democratic Maldives, with a Constitution guaranteeing the full enjoyment of human rights, would have been represented here on this podium. That we are here is down, without any doubt, to the bravery, vision, belief and determination of the Maldivian people. Whatever happens in the future, it is my firm view that what they have achieved over the past few years is truly remarkable,” Dr Shaheed said.

Read the Maldives’ UPR submissions (English):

GovernmentUNStakeholders (includes HRCM)