Maldives president orders probe into violence accompanying rise to power

[JURIST] Maldives President Mohammed Waheed Hassan [official profile] appointed a commission on Wednesday to investigate the violence that accompanied his rise to power. Hassan assumed power of Maldives when former president Mohamed Nasheed resigned [JURIST report] on February 7 following weeks of protests. Nasheed claims he was forced from office in a coup. Supporters of Nasheed took to the streets after his ouster and burned down government buildings in violent demonstrations. The three-member commission was appointed [AP report] by Hassan following criticism from international organizations including the UN. The UN Development Program [official website] called for an investigation [press release] into the violence after a visit to the country by UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco early this month.

The Maldives has faced ongoing unrest since January when the military arrested the chief justice [JURIST report] of the nation's criminal court, Judge Abdulla Mohamed, after he released a detained opposition leader. Last month, the UN called for Mohamed's release [JURIST report] days after the Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs [official website] asked the UN to help them resolve [JURIST report] what they called a judicial system failure. The same week, a group of Maldives lawyers submitted [JURIST report] the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], calling Mohamed's continued detention a violation of the International Convention on the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearance [text]. In the country's first democratic elections in 2008, Nasheed defeated longtime political opponent Maumoon Abdul Gayoon [BBC profile], ending his 30-year rule. During street protests, some worried that the violence may have been a coup attempt by Gayoon, but the government has denied such claims [Reuters report].

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.