Delivered on 8 March 2018
Delivered by H.E. Dr Hala Hameed, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Thank you Mr. President,
The Maldives acknowledges the Annual Report and the oral update by the High Commissioner, and takes note that some of the observations made by the High Commissioner regarding the Maldives in his report are factually incorrect, and are misleading. In this regard, the Maldives wishes to outline the following;
- On 1st February 2018 the Supreme Court of Maldives issued an order in which the Executive was instructed to immediately release nine individuals, whose cases were at different stages of processing within the criminal justice system, some being convicted for serious offences, while some were arrested as a part of the legal process facilitating investigations. Therefore, it would be factually incorrect to assert that the said nine individuals were arbitrarily detained.
- The Supreme Court also declared that the constitutionally mandated judicial oversight body, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had no mandate to investigate complaints against Supreme Court Judges themselves, making the Supreme Court beyond parliamentary and constitutional accountability and once again disrupted a check and balance mechanism set down in the Constitution.
- At no point was there a refusal by the Executive to comply with the Supreme Court order. The President declared the State of Emergency on the 5th of February 2018, only after exhausting all administrative, legal, and personal avenues to resolve the Constitutional Crisis; and after having been advised by the National Security Council that there was a threat to national security.
- The Decree temporarily suspends only those fundamental rights, which can be legally restricted under the Constitution of the Maldives, while respecting the list of non-derogable rights under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
- Further, the State of Emergency does not restrict the freedom of expression, freedom if the media and the right to a fair and transparent hearing.
To conclude, my delegation reiterates that the Government of Maldives has always, and will continue constructive engagement with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Procedures and this august Council.
I thank you Mr. President.