The Edition


Maldives to criminalize supporting extreme ideologies

Ahmed Aiham
12 September 2019, MVT 12:55
A police officer during the special operations conducted to aid the investigations of presidential Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
12 September 2019, MVT 12:55

The Maldivian government is seeking to criminalize the support of extremist ideologies via amendments to the Prevention of Terrorism Act

In its current state, the act stipulates a jail term of 10-20 years for radical insurgents departing the country to partake in conflicts abroad.

If passed by the parliament and later ratified, outward calls in support of terrorist organisations or knowingly interacting with such groups will be made illegal, in addition to wearing clothing related to terrorist organisations.

Moreover, terrorist organizations and conflict zones will be classified and listed by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. The list will be reviewed once every 12 months.

Further proposed is the criminalization of political and religious extremism and fear mongering within society.

The government also specified criminal acts for which Police may arrest suspects without prior court orders, should there be sufficient reason to accuse them.

The bill further authorises the police to search suspects accused of terrorism for any items linked to the alleged crime or for evidence, should there be grounds to do so. This power accords Police the authority to conduct strip searches.

While the new amendments accord constitutional rights to all persons arrested or detained under such circumstances, the bill seeks to annul their right to remain silent.