The Maldives Government has rejected the views adopted by the UN Human Rights Committee regarding the complaints filed by former President Mohamed Nasheed alleging the violation of his civil and political rights.
The Maldives Foreign Ministry said that the Government of the Maldives is committed to promoting and protecting the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Maldives and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as per it’s international obligations, and it wholeheartedly refutes that any of these rights have been violated in the case of the former President Nasheed.
“The Government accepts the conviction of Nasheed as lawful and final. The conviction has reached finality after the decision of the Supreme Court on 27 June 2016. The Government notes with concern that although a detailed submission was filed in response to the complaints, very little, if any, consideration has been given to those submissions,” the Maldives Foreign Ministry said.
The UN Human Rights Committee had concluded in a finding made public that the Maldives must restore ex-President Mohamed Nasheed’s right to stand for office, including the office of President. The finding of violations of human rights was made in response to two individual complaints by Nasheed filed in 2013 and 2016.
“The Government also maintains that the former President Nasheed’s political standing had no bearing, whatsoever, on the charges against him and his subsequent conviction, and reaffirms that the process was free of any and all political influence. As Nasheed has been convicted lawfully, the restrictions on his political participation and association are justified and reasonable under the laws and regulations of the Maldives as well as the rulings of the courts of the Maldives,” the Maldives Government said.
The Government notes that Article 109 of the Constitution of the Maldives details the qualifications a person elected as President must hold, and as such, Article 109 (f) states that such a person shall not have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of more than twelve months, unless a period of three years has elapsed since his release, or pardon for the offence for which he was sentenced.
The Maldives Government said that since Former President Nasheed was convicted on 13 March 2015 and sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment, he would not be eligible to run for the Office of the President unless a period of three years has elapsed since his release or pardon.
The Government also notes that the Former President was granted permission to travel abroad to seek medical treatment and that following expiry of the medical leave, he has not returned to serve his sentence and therefore remains a fugitive.