Maldives: use of death penalty


The following letter has been sent to John Glen MP concerning the imminent use of the death penalty in the Maldives.  Mr Glen has spoken and written often about the human rights situation there.

[…] You may remember that, when you came to speak to our Group about Human
Rights, you told us of your particular interest and involvement in the issues
around Human Rights in the Maldives.
I am sure, therefore, you will have been concerned, as was our Group, to read
of the Maldives Government’s confirmation of the sentencing to death of a
young man found guilty of the killing in 2012 of a lawmaker. I understand that,
days before this ruling, the Government had amended the rules to allow
execution by lethal injection or hanging. This would bring the Country’s
decades-long moratorium on capital punishment to an end.
I would be grateful if you could let me know whether our Government will be
making any intervention in this man’s case, and expressing their concerns at
this change of policy. You will also, I am sure, be aware that the decision is
controversial, and has resulted in the resignation of the Country’s Foreign
Minister, Dunya Maumoon. We would like to ask whether you would be able
to use your influence with any of the Government contacts you will have made
in the course of your work in relation to the Maldives to support the
commuting of this man’s death sentence to a term of imprisonment, and a
reversal of the new policy.
Mr Glen has replied:
[..] I do remain closed involved with monitoring the situation in Maldives and I believer that there are number of issues there give give cause for grave concern.
You may have seen reports about the recent return to Salisbury of Anni Nasheed, the democratically elected president of the Maldives, who has recently been imprisoned in his home country on entirely spurious grounds.  I am pleased that I was able to see him while he was here and bring myself up to date with the latest developments.
As you will know, the UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle and the government continues to call on all countries around the world that use the death penalty to cease its use.
As you say, this apparent selective reintroduction of the death penalty is deeply worrying.  A group of colleagues and I are committed to keeping the Maldives in forefront of the minds of Foreign Office ministers and I will certainly ensure that specific pressure has been brought to bear around this case.
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