[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Wednesday revealed violent human rights violations [report, PDF] committed in the Maldives against opposition groups and called for an immediate independent investigation [press release] into the actions of security forces. The Maldives have experienced unrest since former president Mohamed Nasheed ordered the arrest of the country’s chief justice and then resigned [JURIST reports] as a result of the controversy. This allowed current President Mohammed Waheed Hassan [official profile] to rise to power. A report [text, PDF] by the Commission of National Inquiry (CONI) [official website] concluded that both Nasheed’s resignation and the transfer of power to Hassan was legal. AI’s report is based on testimony of witnesses and victims and details widespread police brutality against opposition groups with no one being held accountable.
The arrest of the chief justice sparked weeks of tension and unrest that drew international attention. A court in the Maldives in July refused to hear a case [JURIST report] about the legality of the arrest of the chief justice, saying it did not have jurisdiction. Earlier that month the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) [advocacy website] claimed that press freedom in the country has been deteriorating [JURIST report] since Nasheed’s resignation in February. In April the Maldives Police Service referred the case against Nasheed to the Prosecutor’s General Office two months after an arrest warrant was issued for him [JURIST reports]. Nasheed has claimed that the arrest and charges against him were politically motivated. A group of Maldives lawyers in January asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to review the legality of the arrest of Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed [JURIST report]. During the same month, the Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs had asked [JURIST report] the UN to help them to resolve the unrest arising out of the arrest of the chief justice.