UN calls on Maldives to release former Defence Minister Col. Mohamed Nazim

Male [The Maldives], Jan.29 : The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) has called on the Government of Maldives to immediately release former defence minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim who is under arrest allegedly for trying to engineer a coup.

In a statement adopted and issued on January 20, 2017, the UNWGAD concluded that: "The deprivation of liberty of Col.

Nazim, being in contravention of articles 3,9, 10, 11 and 21 of the UDHR and of articles 9, 14 and 25 of theICCPR, is arbitrary and falls within categories II and III," and that "Taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the Working Group considersthat an adequate remedy would be to release Col.

Nazim immediately and accord him an enforceable right to reparations, in accordance with international law." An independent and impartial specialist body of the UN Human Rights Council, UNWGAD had also in October 2015 called on the Government of Maldives for the immediate release of former President Mohamed Nasheed.

At the time, the government had called the UNWGAD decision a flawed one and added that it "will not be made to act on the basis of a non-binding opinion." The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the largest political party in Maldives, said in a release that if the Maldivian authorities do not adhere to UNWGAD's decision on Colonel (Retired) Nazim, the Government of Maldives remains in continual violation of its international commitments, and President Yameen, his foreign minister, and members of the judiciary can be held accountable for violating international human rights law, which will ultimately affect the citizens of The Maldives.

The MDP said the party has always maintained that Colonel Nazim was framed and persecuted for his political stand and for challenging the authority of President Yameen.

The gross violations of human rights, rising terrorist activities and politicalinstability in Maldives has raised serious security concerns among tourists, especially those from Europe, Australia and the United States.

The Maldives government headed by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has failed to crack down on activities of the Islamic State (ISIS) and which is hurting the single largest source of funds for the Maldives which is Tourism.

Major Tour operators are fearful of terror activities in Maldives and have been advising their clients to stay away from the Maldives.

However, Islamic terror groups are rapidly making the Maldives their base due to their laxity on law enforcement.

While the government has been diligent in cracking down on political opponents, it has done little to halt the flow of Maldivians heading off to fight for the Islamic State.

Terrorism experts say the problem is what happens if some of these Maldivian jihadists, trained and radicalized on the battlefields of Syria, come home.

Source: ANI