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Maldives: UNHRC urges rights violation probe

Last Updated: Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 20:31

Male: The UN human rights body has asked Maldives to consider setting up an independent commission to investigate all human rights violations that occurred prior to 2008 when democracy was established in the country.

In a report this week, the UN Human Rights Committee also urged Maldives to probe allegations of torture and human rights violations against protesters in Male and Addu cities following Mohamed Nasheed`s ouster from power in February.

The Committee pointed out that reported cases of torture and alleged ill-treatment by police and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) prior to 2008 have not been investigated.

The body called on the Maldives to abolish death penalty and revise its Constitution to ensure that religion is not a basis for citizenship.

"The State party should take steps to combat torture and ill-treatment in its all forms and prohibit it in its legislation," it said.

"The State party should consider setting up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate all human rights violations, including torture that took place in the State party prior to 2008 and provide compensation to the victims," it said.

"The Committee should further investigate all allegations of torture that took place at the time of the demonstrations of February 8, 2012, in Male and Addu, prosecute those responsible, and provide compensation and rehabilitation to the victims," it said.

It also asked the country to implement the findings of the Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate events that took place during the political transition period.

It should investigate and "prosecute and bring police and defence forces officers responsible to justice".

It said the country should take steps to ensure that the Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power in February 2012, can carry out its functions in conditions guaranteeing its complete independence and impartiality.

"The Committee is concerned at information before the Committee that some individuals who have provided information to the Committee for the consideration of the State party`s initial report have been subject to threats and intimidation as a result of submitting such reports," it said.

Meanwhile, British Minister for South Asia, Alistair Burt, has asked all parties in Maldives to refrain from actions that could "jeopardise" the environment necessary to allow the Commission of National Inquiry to complete its work and for free and fair elections to take place.

"I call on all sides to show restraint in the interest of achieving a sustainable political solution to Maldives’ recent problems," he said.

"I hope that high level talks between political parties can start soon, and that these can identify peaceful ways through current difficulties," he said.


First Published: Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 20:31
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