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Maldives votes against UN moratorium on death penalty

18 December 2018, MVT 09:57
During the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 24, 2016 / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR
18 December 2018, MVT 09:57

The Maldivian delegation, on Monday, voted against the United Nations General Assembly draft resolution to eliminate death penalty.

UN permanent representative for Maldives Ali Naseer stated that the resolution contradicted the Penal Code adopted in 2014. Naseer stated that the death penalty must be enforced in necessary cases as per Islamic Sharia.

Ali Naseer further stated that capital punishment would only be implemented after the justice system gained the full confidence of Maldivian citizens. The diplomat assured that the judiciary would be strengthened and reformed before death penalties were enforced.

According to statistics of Maldives Correctional Service, 18 individuals were placed on death row in the Maldives. The three courts of the judiciary only upheld capital punishment for three of them: Hussain Humam Ahmed convicted of MP Dr. Afrasheem Ali’s murder, Ahmed Murrath convicted of killing prominent lawyer Ahmed Najeeb, and Mohamed Nabeel convicted of killing Abdulla Farhad

While capital punishment was abandoned 65 years ago, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had attempted to revive the death penalty during his regime. Despite the attempts, which included the establishment of an execution chamber in Maafushi Prison, Yameen failed to enforce capital punishment during his five-year term.

International organisations and world powers had earlier raised concerns over the Maldives’ return to capital punishment after nearly six decades of upholding de facto moratorium. The United Nations, European Union and Amnesty International, along with nations such as the United States, United Kingdom and Canada had called on the former government to axe its decision to implement the death penalty.

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