The government has repeatedly failed to share a list detailing the number of people whose jail sentences were pardoned, or reduced by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih after he took office, even after an officially made request under the Right to Information Act.
During President Ibrahim’s reign many criminals were pardoned, or had their sentences reduced disproportionately to the crimes that they were charged with. Such cases include drug trafficking charges and even cases of child sexual abuse. More notably, even people serving sentences for murder were granted their freedom under the President’s orders.
One such case is of a man from LH. Hinnavaru, where President Ibrahim hails from, who was sentenced on drug trafficking, and drug pedaling charges to a long 24-year sentence, which was then reduced on the President’s orders to an astounding 10 days. This happened during the recently held Maldives Democratic Party’s (MDP) primary election campaign days.
Under the “Right to Information” Act, journalists from “Dhiyares” had requested the list of everyone pardoned by President Ibrahim under the pardoning laws, from President’s office. The request made by “Dhiyares” was to detail the following:
- - Clearly stating the amount of people pardoned, or had their sentences reduced each year after President Ibrahim took office
- - Clearly stating the charges of the people whom were pardoned, or had their sentences reduced.
- - Reasons for pardoning, or reducing the sentences of the people on the list
After the request was made the President’s office requested an additional interval of 14 days to prepare the list after failing to provide it within the established period of time under the law. The request was made by “Dhiyares” on March. However, even after taking the additional 2 weeks period they failed to provide the requested list.
Besides information about the number of people pardoned, another request was made to share the number of people whom President Ibrahim had appointed to different political positions. But, as with the previous request, this request was also met with failure to provide from the President Office’s side, even after a direct order from the Information Commissioner to share the information.