Following the report by the United Nations Human Rights Committee Thursday, calling on Maldives to step up efforts to ensure human rights in the country, Government Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza has said that the Maldivian government would counter the report "transparently and without hesitation."
Referring to the calls to allow for religious freedom and same sex rights made by the UN in the report, Abbas stressed that Maldives has signed the various international covenants to act in accordance with the constitution. He added that “nothing can be done outside the contours of the constitution.”
Spokesperson further highlighted that Islam was declared as the religion in the Maldives by the majority of the Special Majlis (Parliament). Hence the authority to revise the decision and determine the view of the people can only be done through the Parliament, he added. Abbas also noted that despite the call by the UN for religious freedom in the Maldives, such a call is only echoed by a few in the country.
Abbas detailed that the UN’s report was based on the document submitted during former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration. He alleged that the report had been shaped to achieve a specific outcome.
“As it turned out we had to respond to the report submitted by Nasheed’s government. We believe that that the report of Nasheed’s government had been fashioned to attain a specific result. That is a major offence,” Abbas said.
He further noted that while the UN has called to probe the alleged human rights abuses prior to 2008, Nasheed during his tenure as President had failed to investigate such incidents. He further raised question whether his government would be able to do so.
“Nasheed’s first order of business after taking the oath of office was to establish a Presidential Commission to probe into his predecessor former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s government. But till February 7, the Commission had not charged anyone,” Abbas said.