Former Chief Justice of the Maldives Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Didi has stated that requesting the government to reprimand those who exercise their right to free speech and freedom of the press in accordance with the Constitution of Maldives is an abuse of diplomatic immunity.
Dr. Didi’s statement was regarding a leaked letter from the Indian High Commission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after Dhiyares and the Maldives Journal published a report on the Deputy Indian High Commissioner.
The former Chief Justice often shares his view on constitutional matters via Twitter. He stated that the Indian Embassy, in keeping with article 41 of the Vienna Convention, cannot ignore its legal obligations by using diplomatic immunity as an authority.
He claimed that the Indian Embassy had an obligation to respect the laws and regulations of its host state, and duty not to interfere in internal affairs.
“Requesting the government to reprimand those who exercise their right to free speech and freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution of Maldives in the name of preventing attacks on the Embassy is a abuse of diplomatic immunity”, said Dr. Didi.
The letter, calling for action to be taken against media and individuals critical of India, read that the Indian High Commission wished to draw the Foreign Ministry's attention to "recent, recurring articles and social media posts attacking the dignity of the High Commission, the Head of the Mission, and members of diplomatic staff".
The High Commission of India made two requests in the letter. First, to ensure enhanced protection of the premises of the mission, resident of the High Commissioner, and residences of other diplomats. Second, to take action against individuals or media outlets that are critical of India.