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UN rights chief urges Maldives to retain decades-long death penalty moratorium

10 August 2016

On 9 August, voicing concern over a number of worrying developments regarding capital punishment in the Maldives, United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called on the Government to refrain from carrying out planned executions and to uphold the de facto moratorium that has been in place in the country for over six decades.

“The death penalty is not effective in deterring crime,” said Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, adding that “a judiciary that is unable to consistently apply fair trial standards and is marred by politicisation must not be allowed to have the final say in matters of life and death.”

Since last November, the High Court decided that the President may no longer exercise the power of commuting death sentences to life imprisonment; in June this year, capital punishment regulations were further amended to allow for hanging in addition to lethal injections as methods of execution.

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