A rehabilitation program for Maldivians involved in terrorism has been included in the amendment to the Anti-Terrorism Act.
According to the amendment proposed by south-Henveiru MP Hussain Shameem on behalf of the government, those who leave the country to join wars may not be released back to the Maldives society unless a thorough assessment is carried out to evaluate if they’re worthy of rehabilitation.
As such, those individuals are to be locked up in a center specialized for such matters, while a risk assessment is to be carried out.
The bill states that the offense of committing to terrorism carries a prison sentence between 20 to 25 years.
Maldives Police Service (MPS) has been given the authority to arrest such individuals, without the need to acquire a court order. The bill further states that the individual must be presented before a judge within 48 hours of arrest.
Officers have also been given the authority to search “private parts” of individuals if they show suspicious behavior of hiding things.
Further, the bill strips the right to remain silent, from offenders.
Some of the acts of terrorism defined in the bill include terrorizing an individual by giving them great harm, kidnapping, dealing with explosives, damaging property as well as hijacking air crafts or any vessel that carries passengers.
This was decided during the first hearing regarding passing the amendment to the Anti-Terrorism Act, held on Thursday morning.
This comes at a time President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated that changes need to be made to the Anti-Terrorism Act as authorities proceed with the investigation into the kidnapping and murder of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan, since the laws need to define what terrorism is and make it easier for authorities to arrest terrorist suspects.