Government of Maldives statement in response to EU Parliament resolution on the Situation in the Maldives

March 15, 2018

The Government of Maldives notes the EU Parliament resolution on the Situation in the Maldives.(2018/2630(RSP)

As reiterated in its response to the EU Council’s Conclusions of 26 February 2018, the State of Emergency currently in place was declared to ensure national security and Constitutional order, to uphold the rule of law and to safeguard the peace and stability of the nation. This State of Emergency is only applied to individuals alleged to have carried out illegal activities in connection to the Supreme Court Order of 1 February 2018. The Government does not intend to pro-long the State of Emergency and plans to lift it as soon as the threats posed to national security are addressed satisfactorily.

The Government also wishes to note that it has no legal mandate to implement the Supreme Court Order of 1 February 2018, since the Supreme Court, by its Court Order no 2018/SC-SJ/03, issued on 6 February 2018, nullified the Court Order of 1 February 2018. Other parts of it were suspended by its Court Order No 2018/SC-VA-J/01 issued on 18 February 2018.

The Government notes that as per the Penal Code, the death penalty can only be exercised for those convicted of wilful murder (in first degree) with proven intent, once the full appeal mechanism and commutation process has been exhausted.

The Constitution of Maldives, the social framework and historical and traditional values, do not allow for religions other than Islam to be publicly practiced in the country. The Government further reiterates its firm commitment to promote moderation, mutual respect, and understanding towards other religions and nationalities.

The Government views terrorism and violent extremism as serious national security threats, and has been working tirelessly with international partners, including EU member countries, to prevent and counter these phenomena. Over the past few years, several institutional, legislative and policy developments have taken place, including the establishment of the National Counter Terrorism Centre and the ratification of ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act (32/2015). The Government hence requests the European Union to continue to support its efforts, to combat terrorism and violent extremism.

On this note, the Government also reiterates its unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and security of foreign nationals residing in the country, as well as tourists visiting the Maldives on vacation, and notes that there have been no threats and continues to be no danger, small or large, to any foreign national.

The Government believes that the current political deadlock can be resolved through dialogue, and hence has invited the opposition Political Parties, for the twelfth time, for All-Party Talks. Genuine dialogue is only possible when all Parties commit to the process without any pre-conditions. This is necessary to pave the way to find mutually beneficial solutions to political disagreements amongst the stakeholders. The Government of Maldives therefore appreciates the European Union’s support to the dialogue process and appeals for continued respect and empowerment of the Government for its initiatives to engage relevant stakeholders.

The Government is committed to providing a free and stable environment for campaigns in the lead up to this year’s Presidential Elections in September and expects the European Union and all relevant stakeholders to support this endeavour. The Government looks forward to continued collaboration with the European Union to strengthen the electoral, governance and democratic structures and frameworks.