Delivered on 11 September 2017

Delivered by Mr Jeffrey Salim Waheed, Minister and Deputy Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of Maldives to United Nations in Geneva

Mr President,

My delegation acknowledges the reports presented under this Agenda Item. The focus of this statement is on the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Mr President,

For 25 years, we, as an international community, have agreed to join forces and work towards combating and ending arbitrary detention. We mandated this working group with resolution 199/42 (of the former Commission on Human Rights) to serve the victims of arbitrary detention and to continually question the standards by which we as States deprive our citizens of their liberty.

That in 2016, 37% of countries had replied to the Working Group’s communications is testament to our collective need to re-evaluate our priorities on this issue. As a country which has been subject to its Opinions, and though we reject its findings, we still value this engagement and the necessary scrutiny of judicial procedures which affect fundamental and inalienable rights.

Mr President,

My Government is committed to advancing the rule of law and its equal application, including in all cases in which an opinion has been delivered. The Working Group’s Opinions 33/2015 and 59/2016 concerning former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and Colonel Mohamed Nazim are cases in which an offence under domestic law has been committed, for which the persons concerned have been tried, convicted and sentenced according to the domestic law and procedures, in line with international standards and norms.

Mr President,

As a country continuously engaging with the Working Group, we believe the Working Group should give space for domestic processes to reach their fruition and should encourage any accused persons find the required remedies through domestically available redress avenues. We also firmly believe that the working methods of the group should place equal weight in assessing the responses provided by the Government, as at times they have been completely disregarded and comparatively more emphasis has been placed on various other alternate sources, including press releases issued by NGOs which at times result in the disregarding of the actual facts of the matter. This also misplaces emphasis that should be given towards meaningful engagement with governments.

Thank you, Mr. President.