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Maldives Human Rights Commission silent as President Nasheed abuses citizen right

On May 6th 2009, just three days before the parliamentary, the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives issued a Press Release, emphasizing the importance of fair and free elections, the imperative to ensure all citizens above the age of 18 their democratic right to vote freely as stipulated in the Constitution and called all parties and peoples to co-operate in the forthcoming elections. Further, the Commission cautioned the public that their staff would observe voting in six different regions across the nation and check if the elections are conducted in a free and fair environment.

Commission members led by Chairperson Ahmed Saleem may have thought that they had calmed the public who have been critical of the lethargy shown by the Commission after the MDP government assumed power on November 11th 2008. Little did the Commision know that they fooled only a minority group. The majority who remained skeptical of the intentions of the Human Rights Commission fumed when the Commission failed to comment on the irregularities that their staff reported on voting day. Thimarafushi voting is a case in point. Despite numerous reports on the irregularities at the ballot box, the Commission ignored the whole incident, and refused to give a press statement. No small wonder of course, the media officer Ms Jehan belongs to the Hinnavaru Clan of MDP parliamentarian Ibu Solih! Solih is married to President Nasheed’s cousin Fazna, and is Nasheed’s right hand man in all his dirty deals. Further, Human Rights Commission Chairperson Saleem is a Maizan family member by default through marriage. As key MDPers Maizan family has been leading the vendetta against dissidents. Saleem’s wife Maizan Aisaa Manike’s sister Maizan Kaidha Manike is married to Jehan’s uncle Dheylia, again from Nasheed’s Hinnavaru Clan.

The Human Rights Commission has failed to honour the mandate stipulated in the Constitution in practice during and in the aftermath of General Elections 2009. Chairperson Saleem has demonstrated very clearly that he is not capable of being professional and ethical when confronted with the MDPers. Mr Saleem should resign from the prestigious position of Chairperson of the independent Commission. He has violated the rights of the citizens of the Maldives. He has neglected duty and more importantly, he has helped to flourish, actively and strategically, a biased environment within the Commission by recruiting staff related to the MDP clans.

We call upon the Human Rights Commission to stand up to defend the rights of the citizens of the Maldives!

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