MALE, June 20, 2023 - In a fiery series of tweets yesterday, Transparency Maldives, a non-partisan, non-profit organization, condemned the Maldives Police Service's violent measures against peaceful protesters, asserting an infringement on human rights.
The organization criticized the police force's use of non-lethal weapons and brute force during the recent protests by the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People's National Congress (PNC). The protestors had been rallying against government corruption and mismanagement when police responded with what many are calling disproportionate force.
Transparency Maldives raised significant concerns regarding the police's disregard for the human rights principles of necessity, proportionality, and legality in their decision to suppress peaceful assembly and freedom of the press. "The continued impunity of @PoliceMv in restricting these freedoms" needs urgent attention, the organization tweeted.
Transparency Maldives has called upon the Human Rights Commission of Maldives and the National Integrity Commission to urgently investigate the police force's actions and apparent immunity. The group has urged these bodies to fulfill their mandated responsibilities, highlighting the imperative need for oversight and accountability.
In addition to holding the police accountable, the organization also called on the Maldivian President and Parliament. "We reiterate our calls to @presidencymv and the parliament to work together to bring the law into compliance with international human rights laws," the organization stated. They further insisted on revoking any unconstitutional provisions that "unduly limit the exercise of the right of peaceful assembly."
The violent response to peaceful protest has sparked widespread outrage across the Maldives and internationally, with many citizens and human rights organizations echoing Transparency Maldives' calls for accountability and reformation.