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Amnesty accuses Maldives regime of human rights abuses

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

In a report issued today, Amnesty said that a campaign of violent repression this year has shattered the idyllic image of the Maldives, "exposing a human rights crisis that has gripped the country since President Mohamed Nasheed's ousting in February 2012".

The report said that AI interviews since the February 7 events when Nasheed resigned the presidency had revealed that many members of Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) were targeted by security forces.

The London-based rights watch group slammed the regime of President Mohamed Waheed for shrugging off its responsibility to human rights violations and contended that without an end to the rights abuses there would not be any meaningful reconciliation in the archipelago.

"Hundreds of people were arrested, most of them injured by the police, on 8 February. They were taken from the streets, their hospital beds and from their homes.

Almost one third of the detainees were women. They were ill-treated at the time of their arrest and on their way to police stations," the report said.

The report asks the Waheed administration to ensure prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations into allegations of violence by officials, and instruct security forces against attacking demonstrators.

It said security forces must act without prejudice, and without taking sides politically, and the criminal justice system should be reformed so that it develops into an independent and impartial power capable of providing justice to survivors of human rights violations.

The rights body also calls on the UN, the Commonwealth, the EU and foreign governments to closely monitor the human rights situation in the Maldives, and to provide assistance to authorities to carry out human rights training to judges, prosecutors and enforcement officials, to ensure the criminal justice system is in line with international human rights and standards.

First Published: Wed, September 05 2012. 17:55 IST