Bringing the Maldives back from the brink

30-Apr-2015 @ 13:30

Charles Tannock Charles Tannock

Charles Tannock Charles Tannock

Charles Tannock Charles Tannock

A senior MEP and foreign affairs specialist today (Thurs) put forward a blueprint to save the paradise islands of the Maldives from descending into chaos and ever-greater bloodshed.

Conservative Charles Tannock said the country's former president must be freed, the judiciary must undergo wholesale reform, and death sentences imposed under sharia law must be rescinded.

He told his fellow MEPs:  "In a country better known for tourism than militancy, the human rights and democracy situation in the Maldives is deteriorating alarmingly with rising Wahhabi-Salafist influence and social tensions.

"Peaceful protestors are being arrested and critical media outlets and civil society are being silenced, while the judicial system is being manipulated to imprison opposition politicians. "The recent arrest and conviction of former President Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the Maldives, who did so much to raise the plight of inundation his country faced from climate change, is just one example of selective justice and corruption in a politicised judiciary. It has been reported that his trial failed to meet national and international standards of justice.

"We call on the Government of the Maldives to immediately and unconditionally release former President Nasheed, and to take the necessary steps to reform the judiciary in order to restore confidence in the rule of law. The introduction of delayed death sentences under Sharia law on minors is of the gravest concern.

"The significant rise in the number of Maldivians who are believed to have joined ISIS, has also created a sphere of intimidation within society.

"This resolution calls for warnings to be given to EU tourists visiting this Indian Ocean destination and I hope as a Commonwealth country the Maldives can soon be brought back from the brink."

The Parliament approved a joint resolution agreed by all political groups calling for an end to political violence on the Indian-Ocean archipelago, and a return to the rule of law.

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