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UK begins implementing EU framework for restrictive sanctions against Maldives

21 July 2018, MVT 18:29
21 July 2018, MVT 18:29

The United Kingdom (UK) has started to implement the framework adopted by the European Union (EU) for restrictive sanctions against the Maldives, including certain political leaders and their associates.

This marks the UK as the first to bring the EU's framework against Maldives into effect.

A local media outlet reported that the UK has decided to take action against state institutions and individual associates that undermine human rights, and obstruct political freedom by undue force, and in violation of the laws in Maldives. However the UK has not made public any list of the individuals targeted.

Some of the sanctions to be taken against Maldivians include freezing the assets abroad of, and impose travel bans on, certain members of the Maldivian government and their leading supporters in the local business community.

However the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council is yet to hold a meeting to finalise the targeted individuals of these sanctions.

The framework adopted by EU this month, states that member countries of the union may implement the sanctions against Maldivian government institutions and their associates responsible for hindering improvements to the current political situation of the Maldives, especially during the presidential election this year.

While the sanctions are to be in effect until July 17, 2019, the framework urges to maintain the sanctions should Maldives' situation fail to improve. The resolution also accords EU's member states to work jointly to achieve reform work in the Maldives.

In response to the EU's decision to place restrictive sanctions on top government figures, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom last week had stated that rather than affecting himself or other high profile state figures, the sanctions would negatively affect the people of the Maldives, especially in the business community.

Describing it as a "permanent stain on the Maldives", the president warned that the damages sustained due to travel bans and obstruction of tourism, would have to be borne not only by his government, but future administrations as well.

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