International

U.N. rights body rues ‘shrinking democratic space’ in Maldives

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in his global update to the U.N. Human Rights Council which began the 32nd session in Geneva, said he was “troubled” by the application of terrorism-related charges against Opposition leaders of Maldives, and “a number of new rules which have negative impact on fundamental freedoms.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in his global update to the U.N. Human Rights Council which began the 32nd session in Geneva, said he was “troubled” by the application of terrorism-related charges against Opposition leaders of Maldives, and “a number of new rules which have negative impact on fundamental freedoms.”   | Photo Credit: AP

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, on Monday expressed concern about the “shrinking democratic space” in Maldives.

In his global update to the U.N. Human Rights Council which began the 32 session in Geneva, Mr. Hussein said he was “troubled” by the application of terrorism-related charges against Opposition leaders of Maldives, and “a number of new rules which have negative impact on fundamental freedoms.”

A silver lining

However, he described as a “positive signal” the access given to his office by the government and said: “the authorities are open to discussion.” He expressed the hope that his organisation would be able to assist the government to embark on “institutional and legislative reform.”

As for Sri Lanka, the U.N. High Commissioner, who would make an oral update later in the session, said the government’s efforts to implement its commitments in the resolution, adopted during the 30 session in September-October 2015, would require “a comprehensive strategy on transitional justice that enables it to pursue different processes in a coordinated, integrated and appropriately sequenced manner.” This would need an “inclusive and meaningful engagement” with all Sri Lankans.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 7:43:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/U.N.-rights-body-rues-%E2%80%98shrinking-democratic-space%E2%80%99-in-Maldives/article14420417.ece

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