June 14, 2018
The United States is deeply dismayed by reports that former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, and Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed have been sentenced to prison without being afforded necessary procedural protections, including a fair trial with the opportunity to call defense witnesses and have defense counsel. This outcome casts serious doubt on the commitment of the Government of Maldives to the rule of law and calls into question its willingness to permit a free and fair presidential election in September that reflects the will of the Maldivian people.
The United States joins other members of the international community in calling on President Yameen and the Government of Maldives to uphold the rule of law, respect the constitutionally-guaranteed legal protections and rights of all Maldivians, permit the full and proper functioning of the Parliament and judiciary, and abide by Maldives’ international human rights obligations and commitments. We further call on the government to release political prisoners, ensure that parties and candidates are able to campaign freely, and take other necessary measures to restore the credibility of the electoral process and create conditions that ensure the right and opportunity for all citizens to participate in genuinely free and fair presidential elections.