AG at UN: Rights in the Maldives can be allowed in accordance with Islam

Attorney General Ahmed Usham (c) at meeting of the UN’s Human Rights Committee with the Maldives on July 9, 2024. (Photo/AG Office)

Attorney General Ahmed Usham states rights vested under the United Nations (UN)’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) can only be facilitated in the Maldives to the extent allowed by the Islamic religion.

Maldives submitted a periodic report to the UN’s Human Rights Committee on Tuesday which pertains to the extent the civil and political rights granted under the ICCPR is enforced in the country.

Attorney General’s Office (AG Office) released the statement on Wednesday regarding the report which noted that it was the second such submission by the Maldives and details the work carried out between July 2012 and March 2022 for the implementation of the treaty.

The report was submitted during a meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland which was attended by officials from the AG Office, the President’s Office, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Social and Family Development Ministry. The Maldivian delegation was headed by Usham.

Usham, in his speech to kick off the review, underscored Islamic religion as one the main basis of a Maldivian citizen and in this trajectory, emphasized there was no leeway to change this basis in the Maldivian society.

While detailing the efforts by the current administration to strengthen the Maldives’ governing system and legal framework – Usham stressed that the rights vested by the ICCPR can be allowed in the Maldives in accordance with the Maldivian constitution, laws and the fundamentals of the Islamic region.

AG Office states UN Human Rights Committee is due to provide their feedback and recommendations based on the information included in the report on July 19th.

Maldives recently signed the “Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Members of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, of the other part”, otherwise known as the Samoa Agreement, as a member of the OACPS.

Following the execution, some political figures, underscoring provisions that contradict the Islamic religion in the agreement, claimed that the Maldives would be bound by these provisions and therefore, forced to abide by it.

However, the government has refuted these allegations citing Maldives signed the agreement after submitting reservations and declarations to provisions that contradict the Islamic religion and the Maldivian constitution.