World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Rule of law under siege in the Maldives

Rule of law under siege in the Maldives, say UN human rights experts

GENEVA (12 February 2018) – The detention of two Supreme Court judges in the Maldives is an attack on the independence of the judiciary and undermines the court’s ability to work freely and effectively, a group of United Nations human rights experts* has warned.

“The independence of the judiciary is under serious threat, along with the principle of separation of powers between the State and the courts,” the experts said in a joint statement.

“This direct attack on the Supreme Court undermines its legitimacy and independence, and casts serious doubt on its ability to protect constitutional principles and to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“It is clear that the rule of law in the Maldives is now under siege. We call on the government to refrain from any threats or interference that may hamper the court’s independence as the supreme guardian of the country’s constitution and legislation.”

The experts stressed that judicial independence was enshrined in the national constitution as well as in international human rights treaties, and had to be guaranteed by the State.

One of the experts, Diego García-Sayán, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, highlighted the group’s concerns over the possible motivation behind the detentions.

“The timing of the arrests, five days after the Supreme Court had ordered the release and retrial of nine opposition leaders including former President Mohamed Nasheed, is at best suspicious,” he said. “This constitutes an intolerable act of intimidation against the highest judicial authority in the country.”

Following the arrest of Chief Justice H.E. Abdulla Saeed and Ali Hameed Mohamed – shortly after the government declared a state of emergency - the three remaining Supreme Court judges overturned the order to free the nine leaders.

Another of the experts, José Guevara, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, said: “We are deeply concerned that the alleged arbitrary arrest and detention of the two justices is now affecting the work of the other judges.

“Judges should decide all matters before them impartially, on the basis of facts and in accordance with the law. This is not possible when their very liberty and security is threatened.”

The UN experts have been in contact with the government regarding their concerns.

*The UN experts: Mr. José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez, current Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mr. Diego García-Sayán (Peru) has been Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and magistrates since December 2016.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

New IPCC Report: ‘Unprecedented Changes’ Needed To Limit Global Warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, says a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster… More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami: Aid Response Begins

Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit on Friday. More>>

ALSO:

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC