Sheikh Imran Abdulla

UNWGAD calls on Maldives to release AP leader 'without delay'; seeks to conduct a country visit

  • Sheikh Imran has been jailed for 12 years, for 'inciting violence'
  • The WGAD also called to ‘accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law’
  • The government has been given six months to implement the recommendations and respond to the WGAD

Aishath Shaany
Shaaknee

K. Male' 2018 Feb 14 | Wed 18:33 4,140 local

File photo: Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla addresses the protesters at the May Day rally 2015 - Haveeru

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has called on the government to release Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Imran Abdulla ‘without delay’.

According to the opinions adopted by the WGAD at its eighth session from November 20 to 24, it called to ‘remedy’ Imran’s situation without delay and ‘bring it into conformity with the relevant international norms, including those set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights’.

The WGAD also called to ‘accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law’.

“The deprivation of liberty of Imran Abdulla, being in contravention of articles 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of articles 1, 2, 7, 9, 10, 14, 18, 19, 21, 25 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is arbitrary and falls within categories I, II, III and V,” reads the WGAD’s report.

The group also noted that the issue has been referred to UN’s Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

The Maldivian government has been given six months to respond to the WGAD, and was asked to inform the WGAD ‘of any difficulties that may have encountered in implementing the recommendations’.

The WGAD noted that it is willing to provide technical assistance to the authorities ‘through a visit by the Working Group’. It further noted that it had made a request to conduct a country visit on 2nd March 2017, in order to ‘engage with the government constructively and offer assistance in addressing serious concerns relating to the arbitrary deprivation of liberty’.

Imran Abdulla was found guilty of inciting violence in his speech at the May Day rally in 2015, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison on 16th February 2016.

Last updated at: 4 months ago | Reviewed by: Ismail Naail Nasheed

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