MDP Welcomes UNWGAD Opinion On Col. Rtd. Mohamed Nazim and Calls for his Immediate Release

The MDP Welcomes the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s Opinion on Former Defense Minister Colonel (Rtd) Mohamed Nazim; Reiterates Call for his Immediate Release

Today, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) released its Opinion adopted on 20 January 2017, regarding the case submitted by the Maldives’ former Minister of Defence, Colonel (Rtd) Mohamed Nazim. In its decision, the UNWGAD concluded that:

“The deprivation of liberty of Col. Nazim, being in contravention of articles 3,9, 10, 11 and 21 of the UDHR and of articles 9, 14 and 25 of the ICCPR, is arbitrary and falls within categories II and III,” and that

“Taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the Working Group considers that an adequate remedy would be to release Col. Nazim immediately and accord him an enforceable right to reparations, in accordance with international law.”

An independent and impartial specialist body of the UN Human Rights Council, the Working Group, had also, in October 2015 called on the Government of Maldives for the immediate release of former President Mohamed Nasheed. At the time, the Government had called the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s (UNWGAD) decision was flawed and that it “will not be made to act on the basis of a non-binding opinion.”

With the refusal to adhere to the UNWGAD’s decision on President Mohamed Nasheed, as the UNWGAD’s decision was based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Government of Maldives stands in violation of its ICCPR obligations.

The MDP would like to remind the Government of Maldives that if the Maldivian authorities do not adhere to the UNWGAD’s decision on Colonel (Rtd) Nazim, the Government of Maldives remains in continual violation of its international commitments, and President Yameen, his Foreign Minister, and members of the judiciary can be held accountable for violating international human rights law, which will ultimately affect the citizens of the Maldives.

The MDP has always maintained that Colonel (Rtd) Mohamed Nazim was framed, and persecuted for his political stand, challenging President Yameen. The MDP reiterates its call on the Government of Maldives, to honour its international obligations, and urge the Government to immediately release Colonel (Rtd) Mohamed Nazim.

The MDP furthermore notes that the UNWGAD’s Opinion also said “the Working Group requests the Government to provide an invitation to the Working Group for country visit,” and urge the Yameen administration to take necessary steps to immediately facilitate this visit.

“Continued persecution of political leaders and anyone who could challenge President Yameen will affect Maldives standing in the international community. Blatant violations has effectively made the Maldives a pariah state and MDP fears this is causing irreversible loss to our country” said Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, MDP spokesman.