The MDP Calls Upon the Government to Release Political Prisoners as Outlined by CMAG

In response to the deteriorating human rights in the Maldives, the CMAG, in its second review this year, highlighted that there was “ little or no evidence of substantive progress achieved in the areas of concern raised” highlighting lack of progress in key priority areas including lack of progress on political dialogue. Ministers called on the government to release all political leaders to ensure a conducive environment for political dialogue and expressed disappointment over revoking medical leave granted to political leaders.

The Ministers noted the failure of the government to set a “clear roadmap and specified timeframe for progress.” Highlighting serious concerns over state sponsored attacks on individual and media freedoms CMAG called on the government to “restore confidence in the overall political environment in Maldives, including in the fundamental freedoms of association, assembly and speech.” The Ministers also highlighted issues of recriminalising defamation and further use of legislations for political gain. The CMAG especially noted with concern the politically motivated exploitation of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said:

“The Government must fully commit to Commonwealth values and free political prisoners in line with the CMAG statement. CMAG’s continued review of the Maldives’ political situation is a clear sign that it is taking action against the Maldives for failure to commit to reforms as outlined in their concluding statement in February.”

The MDP appreciates the CMAG’s call for clear, measurable progress and calls upon the Government to release political prisoners, recall legislation and actions infringing on fundamental freedoms and ensure the independence of the judiciary.