Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Press Release: Response to Recent Comments on Developments in the Maldives

Issued By 

Male, 24 June 2015

In response to a number of statements that have emerged in relation to recent events in the Maldives, the Government considers its obligations towards legislative, constitutional and judicial reform as an integral part of its development plans and is proud of the many achievements that have already been secured in the space of just a few years. As Foreign Minister Dunya has noted “The general human rights situation in the Maldives has been improving steadily. This Government has enacted a total of 18 key human rights legislations within a period of less than 18 months, which is an unparalleled record in the history of the Maldives”.

As is the case for every State, successful and far-reaching reform takes time. This is especially true in a small state with limited resources; however, the Government remains committed to sustaining and building on the current rate of progress that has already been achieved in the Maldives.

The Government recognises that alongside the implementation of legislative and institutional reforms, a country’s record on human rights depends upon the treatment of its citizens.

The Conviction and sentencing of former President Mohamed Nasheed for unlawfully abducting the Chief Judge for the Male Criminal Court, Justice Abdullah Mohamed has been the subject of significant media coverage and international concern.

The Government welcomes this opportunity to update the international community on former President Nasheed’s situation and to correct many of the inaccurate and speculative reports concerning his treatment.

Mr. Nasheed’s rights have been respected fully since his conviction on 13 March 2015. The Government has endeavoured to be fully transparent in this regard and, to this end, has facilitated visits to Mr. Nasheed in prison by the ICRC, the Commonwealth Representative as well as the delegation from the OHCHR.

As of 21 June, Mr Nasheed has been transferred from the Maafushi Prison to his place of residence on Male, where he will be held under house arrest for eight weeks, during which time he shall receive all necessary medical treatment.

This decision was made in light of a medical opinion given by Mr. Nasheed’s physician. He shall receive full medical care during this period, in addition to the x-rays and physiotherapy that he has already received. The relevant authorities will monitor and review his condition at all times to ensure that any health concerns are properly and promptly addressed.

The Government will continue to keep the international community informed of Mr. Nasheed’s condition as part of its broader commitment to strengthening transparency and dialogue.

As part of this commitment, President Yameen engaged in a constructive telephone call with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Tuesday, 23 June 2015, informing him of recent developments in the Maldives.  President Yameen reiterated his pledge to ensure that a process of structured political dialogue with the opposition parties is realised.

This commitment to dialogue and cooperation with the international community is reflected in the Government’s desire to foster strong and constructive relations with the opposition political parties in the Maldives. As with the development of reforms, the Government recognises that the promotion of open and inclusive dialogue of this kind will take time.

The Government will continue to engage constructively with its international partners, and in particular with the Office of the UN Secretary General, European Union and the Commonwealth.

ENDS

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Republic of the Maldives

Website: www.foreign.gov.mv

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