Delivered on 1 March 2018

Delivered by Mr Amin Javed Faizal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Delegate to the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council

The Maldives thanks the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and the Special Rapporteur on torture for their respective reports submitted to the Human Rights Council.

Mr President,

My delegation believes that torture is never justified; not on any individual, nor under any circumstances. Its effects are borne by not just the victim, but also the victim’s family, it affects entire societies as a whole.

Mr President,

There is no doubt that the use of torture weakens the rule of law and undermines the criminal justice system and will persist, if States lack the political will to enforce the commitments in accordance with international norms The rise of violence narratives in political discourse, whether in the context of terrorism or the threats posed by other non-state actors, raises grave concerns in the face of past historical lessons. It is for these reasons, that the prohibition of torture and il-treatment must become a global responsibility in this Council especially.

The Constitution of the Maldives guarantees the right to be free from degrading treatment and torture. Acts of torture are criminal offences under the Anti Torture Act, the Penal Code and the Prisons and Parole Act of the Maldives. The Anti-Torture Act of 2013 prohibits all forms of torture and provides redress mechanisms for torture victims, and there are other laws too that prohibit torture as well. Last October, the Maldives submitted its initial report to the Committee Against Torture. We look forward to engaging with the Committee in this regard.

The Maldives reiterates its commitement, to protect an individual’s life, liberty and physical integrity and to make necessary reforms of the relevant policies, practices and institutions to assure compliance with the Convention against Torture. My delegation stresses that in the pursuit of a safe and secure future for all people, we must combat widespread torture both in law and in practice.

Thank you, Mr President.