The Government of Maldives takes note of the statement issued by the EU Heads of Missions resident in Colombo on 30 January 2018.

Rule of law and the guaranteeing of human rights and fundamental freedoms are central for a modern democratic society. The Constitution of the Maldives enacted in 2008 safeguards the rights of the people and guarantees separation of powers, while also recognizing the complimentary role of each body, for the proper functioning of the State.

The Government of Maldives is resolute in its commitment to ensure fully that the rule of law is upheld and applied fairly and equally to all without any exceptions. The arrest of Hon. Ahmed Faris Maumoon, MP, was pursuant to a Criminal Court arrest warrant issued in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code of the country. The Government notes the allegation that Mr. Maumoon was held in detention for nearly six months without any trial date is factually incorrect, and in fact, that Mr. Maumoon’s trial process had commenced in the said duration and was lengthened due to the various pre-trial motions raised by his team of lawyers, on which the Criminal Court had made its decision on 31 January 2018.

The charges against Mr. Maumoon are serious charges not only in the Maldives, but in other countries as well. The Government has and will continue to ensure that due process will be followed and guarantee his right to a free and fair legal process. At the same time, the Government also hopes that its partners respect the domestic processes and recognize the gravity of the charge of which Mr. Maumoon is accused of.

Since the enactment of the 2008 Constitution, the Maldives has held several parliamentary and local elections including two presidential elections, all of which were declared free, fair and credible by the international community, even as recently as in 2017. Therefore, there is no justifiable reason to believe that the presidential elections scheduled for later this year can be any different. The Government, along with the respective authorities, including its international partners, especially with the European Union, are working tirelessly towards this end. In this regard, the Government looks forward to pursuing constructive engagements with its partners, based on mutual respect and understanding.

ENDS