Reference No: 115/11/2012
22 November 2012
IPU Findings should be a “Wake-up Call” for international partners – MDP
The Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) today welcomed the provisional findings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s human rights mission to the Maldives and said that the findings, which include allegations of politically-motivated arrests and beatings against political opponents and a growing climate of impunity on the part of the police, army and government officials, should act a wake-up call for other parts of the international community.
“Sadly, since February’s overthrow of the Maldives’ democratically-elected government, key parts of the international community have remained silent regarding the widespread human rights violations taking place” said MDP’s spokesperson Hamid A Ghafoor today. While the IPU, CMAG, Canada, the Human Rights Committee, the EU and certain international NGOs such as Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights have expressed varying degrees of alarm at the Maldives’ backsliding on democracy and human rights, others including the UN Resident Coordinator and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have remained shamefully silent”.
“To remain silent in the face of injustice is to be an accomplice to that injustice” said Ghafoor.
“During their visit, the IPU mission has witnessed first-hand the increase in Government intimidation of political opponents, the use of threats and violence to stifle dissent, and the State’s reluctance to hold officials, police and army officers accountable for the shocking violence that has taken place in the country since February – violence that has included attempted arbitrary killing and widespread torture”.
Speaking today, at the end of their three-day visit to the Maldives, the high-level IPU delegation called the recent targeting and arrest of opposition MPs as “very worrying” and said the delegation finds it “difficult” to believe these incidents are not politically-motivated.
The delegation further expressed their concern over the failure to punish the police officers who used “excessive force” against MPs earlier this year – despite numerous IPU Decisions calling on the Government to do so.
“The delegation is deeply concerned that the police officers who used excessive force against the members of parliament earlier this year have not yet been punished, and that Members of Parliament appear to remain subject to intimidation” said the Head of Delegation Francis Pangilinan, a Senator from the Philippines. “The delegation points out that in several of the cases in the use of excessive police force, there is clear video evidence available which should have enabled the authorities to take effective and swift action. The delegation therefore calls on authorities to do everything possible to expedite their efforts to a successful conclusion,” Pangilinan said.
Responding later, MDP’s spokesperson thanked the IPU for the continued attention it is devoting to the situation in the Maldives and for undertaking such an important visit. “Gradually, the international community, which for a while was fooled by the appallingly one-sided report of the so-called Commission of National Inquiry, is starting to understand the true nature of the Waheed regime. The truth is this: unless Waheed can be pressed into calling early elections, the rapid encroachment of the police state will continue – until it will be impossible to turn it back”.
“It is time for the UN Resident Coordinator and others to wake-up to this fact”.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs