Foreign Minister urged to release opposition leaders
New Delhi: In an hour long meeting with visiting Foreign
Minister of Maldives, Dr Ahmed Saheed, a delegation of the New Delhi
based Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) urged the government
of Maldives to immediately release Chairperson of the opposition Maldivian Democratic
Party, Mohamed Nasheed and other political detainees, who were arrested
yesterday while participating in a peaceful protest to mark the
anniversary of pro-democracy protest of 12-13 August 2004. ACHR
also urged the government of Maldives to release all other detainees
arrested on 1 August 2005 while queuing up early in the morning
before the Peoples Majlis to listen to the debates. Majority of
them are being detained at Dhoonidoo detention center.
welcome the registration of political parties by the government
of Maldives as an important step but the government must take comprehensive
and composite reform programmes to be implemented within a specific
time frame. Any credible reform programme must also create conducive
conditions for enjoyment of the democratic freedoms and the release
of all political detainees must be an integral part.” – stated
Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR.
Asian Centre for Human Rights
also urged the Foreign Minister to allow registration of NGOs, especially
Rights Association” and “The
Reporting Network for the Relatives of the Persons in Judicial Care”
whose applications have been pending for quite considerable time.
In addition, the amendments
adopted by the Peoples
Majlis on 12 July 2005 further weaken the National Human
Rights Commission, target its Chairperson by limiting his power
and functions and raises questions about the reform processes.
Foreign Minister expressed government’s commitment
to complete the ongoing reform process and informed that the government
of Maldives is considering ratifying the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights. Foreign Minister also informed that
former Malaysian Minister Dato Musa Bin Hitam has been exploring
the dialogue between the government and the opposition parties.
Mr Suhas Chakma, Director
of Asian Centre for Human Rights welcomed the dialogue process being
initiated by Musa Bin Hitam and the willingness to ratify the key
human rights treaties. Mr Chakma urged the government of Maldives
to expedite the dialogue for composite reforms in a transparent
way and extend invitations to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
and UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to visit Maldives.