PRESS RELEASE – April 06, 2017
A pluralistic political environment that allows for political dissent is one of the most fundamental prerequisites for a democratic society. Article 30 of the Maldivian Constitution unambiguously embodies this right for all Maldivians. However, today we are witnessing the intimidation of political opponents using state institutions, either through criminal investigations or state imposed fines. More disturbingly these measures against political leaders coincide with political fallout with government. The fact that that all opposition party leaders are either currently in jail, in exile or under arrest is a testament to authoritarian reversal the country is experiencing.
Transparency Maldives strongly condemns and is concerned by the intimidation of political opponents and those critical of the government by state institutions and the curtailing of the fundamental right to hold differing political opinions and ideas. Despite Article 17 of the Constitution disallowing discrimination based on “political thought”, we are witnessing political opponents facing unfair reprisals as a result of their political views. Holding dissenting political opinion has become a dangerous prospect in the country.
Transparency Maldives urges the government to find an amicable solution to the current political impasse and to work sincerely to ensure that the upcoming presidential election is free, fair and competitive. We call on the government to work with sincerity to bring back the country to the path of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights.