Reference No: 81/07/2012
15 July 2012
UN Expresses Concern at Reprisals Against Maldives Human Rights Defenders
The UN Committee on Human Rights, the premier international treaty body mandated to ensure implementation by governments of the ICCPR, today expressed deep concern at reports that government supporters have been threatening and intimidating those who have provided information to the Committee. The warning came during the closing stages of the Committee’s consideration of the Maldives’ report on implementation of the ICCPR.
Citing credible sources, the Vice Chair of the Committee, Mr. O’Flaherty, took the floor on an emergency point of order.
The committee had, he said, “received extremely worrying reports that civil society groups in the Maldives which gave information for this meeting have been the subject of threats as a result”.
“This includes the worst kind of threat – the threat to life”.
Such reprisals for cooperating with international human rights bodies is a very serious concern, he noted, and the committee takes this very seriously.
He urged the State to look into this and to assure the Committee that steps will be taken to ensure that civil society in the Maldives is fully protected.
In UN Human Rights Council resolution 12/2, the international community expresses deep concern at the growing instances of reprisals against human rights defenders who seek to cooperate with and provide information to the international human rights system. With the statement by the Human Rights Committee, the Maldives joins other States to have received such warnings including Bahrain and Sri Lanka.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs