United Nations (UN) has expressed concern over the intentional use of pepper spray on former President Mohamed Nasheed and excessive force used by security forces to disperse the ongoing anti-government protests.
During a press briefing held in Geneva, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville raised concern over the reports of violent protests during the weekend in the Maldives and excessive use of force by security forces in response. To that end, Rupert noted the “seemingly deliberate and uncalled-for use of some kind of spray on former President Nasheed.”
In addition Rupert also expressed concern over the driving of police vehicles at high speed into crowds of protestors.
“Such actions deserve immediate investigation, and firm action should be taken by the authorities against those responsible for excessive use of force,” Rupert said.
Spokesperson further appealed to all parties to refrain from violence and create conditions for political dialogue and reconciliation. While noting the charges that have been brought against Nasheed in relation to the arrest and detention of Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed, Rupert stressed that “any such matters must be handled with full respect to the due process rights and fair trial safeguards guaranteed by the Maldives' Constitution and international human rights treaty obligations.”
The case against Nasheed has been sent back to the Prosecutor General’s office by the Hulhumale Court earlier today.
Meanwhile the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) has launched a probe into the allegations of the intentional use of pepper spray against Nasheed, which had been vehemently denied by the Police.