Maldives: State of emergency must not become 'a licence for further repression'

Amnesty International has warned that today’s 15-day declaration of a state of emergency in the Maldives must not become a licence for further repression.

Dinushika Dissanayake, Amnesty International’s South Asia Deputy Director, said:

“The declaration of the state of emergency in the Maldives is an extremely worrying development that comes at a time of heightened political anxieties in the country - but respect for human rights must not become another casualty of this ongoing crisis.

“The Maldivian authorities have an appalling track-record of suppressing freedom of expression and any form of opposition, a pattern of behaviour that has intensified over recent years.

“It is vital that the authorities respect their obligations under international human rights law during this period of emergency. This cannot be a licence for further repression.”

The declaration of a state of emergency – which suspends several clauses of the Maldivian constitution – comes days after the Maldivian Supreme Court overturned a politically-motivated conviction against former President Mohamed Nasheed on ‘terrorism’ charges.

The government of President Abdulla Yameen has refused to implement the Supreme Court’s ruling and has moved to arbitrarily detain members of the political opposition.

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