Capital punishment talk has deterred murders, pres claims

The talk of enforcing the death penalty has put a stop to gruesome and premeditated murders in the Maldives, incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom claimed Monday.

Since taking office in 2013, president Yameen has been pushing to enforce the death penalty after ending the de facto moratorium that has been in place in the country for over six decades.

In June 2016, capital punishment regulations were amended to allow for hanging in addition to lethal injections as methods of execution.

President Yameen has since been giving several dates to begin capital punishment, last of which was nearly a year ago.

Despite failure to implement capital punishment, president Yameen speaking after inaugurating a water network in Thaa Atoll Thimarafushi island on Monday, insisted that premeditated and remorseless murders were unheard of in the country not so long ago.

The president alleged that major crimes had spiraled out of control during the government of main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) adding that there had been around 30 recorded murders when he took office in 2013.

However, major crimes including murders has since ended after his government announced plans to enforce the death penalty.

"I promised to re-introduce capital punishment because my government cannot accept people killing each other. Since we made the announcement it has acted as a deterrent. The time of gruesome murders and assaults are in the past," he added.

President Yameen's claims came after renowned local blogger Yameen Rasheed had been hacked to death in the stairwell of his own home in April last year, while another young man was stabbed to death inside a motorbike showroom last July.