Rights group concerned over Maldives turmoilFebruary 13th, 2012 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Feb 13 (IANS) Expressing concern over the recent political developments in the Maldives, a human rights group has called for strict compliance of the accepted democratic norms and the rule of law if a situation genuinely warranted a change in government.
“There is deep concern that such has not been the case in the Maldives, considering that former president Mohammed Nasheed became the country’s first democratically elected president just four years ago, following 30 years’ rule by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom,” the South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) said in a statement released here.
The SAHR said the recent events in the Maldives demonstrated a threat to the right to peaceful protest. It pointed to a violent repression last week when, according to an Amnesty International report, a march held by Nasheed was attacked by police.
The rights group urged the island nation’s new President Mohamed Waheed Hassan to ensure that peoples’ right to demonstrate peacefully was respected.
It pointed out that the recent developments - which Nasheed and others termed as a “coup” - followed violent protests which appeared to be triggered by arrest of Senior Judge Abdulla Mohamed and the resignation of Maldivian SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Secretary General Dhiyana Saeed.
“It was also reported that some members of the opposition may have instigated the ‘coup’ that forced Nasheed’s departure from office,” said SAHR chairperson Hina Jilani (Pakistan) and co-chairperson Nimalka Fernando (Sri Lanka) in the statement issued through India representative Jatin Desai.
The SAHR said that if there were questions about Nasheed’s governance, these should have been taken up through the mechanisms available in a democracy.
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Tags: amnesty international report, democratic norms, hina jilani, human rights group, india representative, island nation, jatin, maldivian, maumoon abdul gayoom, nasheed, peaceful protest, political developments, president mohamed, south asian association, south asian association for regional cooperation, south asians, strict compliance, violent protests, violent repression, waheed