14 June 2016; The Government of the Maldives takes note of the remarks made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein at the Opening Statement of the 32nd Human Rights Council session in Geneva on 13 June 2016. In his statement, the High Commissioner noted that the Government has given access to Missions from his Office to those convicted on serious criminal offences, and the openness that the Government has shown for discussion. The High Commissioner also expressed concerns with regard to the recent convictions of those at the centre of attempts to destabilise freedom and democracy in the Maldives.
The Maldives responded to the High Commissioner’s statement by noting that the Maldives is a country where democratic space is expanding, not shrinking; where the rule of law is upheld, and where all those accused receive a fair trial as per the country’s Constitution, and consistent with the country’s international obligations.
The Government recognises the challenges that are presented in seeking to administer further reform. The Government has been open to discussion and dialogue, particularly with the United Nations, seeking assistance and cooperation with its announced programme of institutional and legislative reform.
To this end, the Government has extended invitations to the United Nations to visit the Maldives, and has welcomed various human rights experts and delegations over the past few years. The Government has also requested OHCHR to appoint an expert to the Maldives to assist the Government in shaping critical policies and legislation for strengthening governance and improving human rights standards and compliance.