European Parliament Passes Sanctions Resolution on Maldives Officials

17 December 2015

MALE: The European Parliament passed a resolution on Thursday morning, condemning the human rights abuses of President Abdulla Yameen and calling for targeted sanctions to be imposed on his officials, and supporters in the business community.

The harshly worded resolution, which was passed overwhelmingly with 563 votes in support; 31 against; 32 abstentions calls on the European Union and its 28 member states to:

“Introduce restrictive measures in the form of targeted sanctions to freeze the assets abroad of certain members of the Maldivian Government and their leading supporters in the Maldivian business community, and to impose travel bans on them.”

The resolution also “Calls on the [European] Commission and the Member States to issue comprehensive warnings about the Maldives’ human rights record to tourists planning to go to the country.”

In the resolution, EU parliamentarians took particular exception at what they termed “the gradual deterioration of democratic standards and the increasing authoritarian tendencies in the Maldives, which are creating a climate of fear and political tension that could jeopardise any gains made in recent years in establishing human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the country.”

The European Parliament also said it “deplored” the Yameen regime’s “crackdown on political opponents”, including the jailing of former president Mohamed Nasheed. The Parliament expressed its “gross dissatisfaction with the serious irregularities in the trial of former president Mohamed Nasheed,” and called for his immediate and unconditional release, along with other political prisoners.

The resolution went onto state that the European Parliament “is deeply worried by the constant erosion of human rights, including the misuse of the state of emergency by executive powers in the Maldives, and by the risk of further deterioration; reminds the Republic of Maldives of its international commitments regarding respect for human rights, including children’s rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The resolution also called for the “establishment of a genuine dialogue among all political parties on the future of this fragile island state.”

The European Parliament’s resolution follows calls by President Nasheed’s legal counsel for targeted sanctions to be imposed on officials in Yameen’s regime who are guilty of perpetrating human rights abuses. In November, the legal counsel for President Nasheed submitted to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office a list of individuals responsible for serious human rights violations in the Maldives.

Commenting on the European Parliament resolution, MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said:

“Yameen should free President Nasheed and other political prisoners in order to prevent sanctions being imposed on the Maldives.

“Yameen’s disrespect for democracy is turning the Maldives into a pariah state.

“Yameen has brought this upon himself, and his ministers and officials risk having their assets seized and bank accounts frozen, and being banned from traveling to Europe.”

The full text of the EP resolution can be found here: EP Resolution