New Maldives govt to maintain moratorium on death penalty

New Maldives government would uphold the moratorium on the death penalty, foreign ministry announced Tuesday.

"The government of Maldives will uphold the 65 year moratorium on the death penalty," foreign ministry announced on Twitter adding that Maldives would back the draft resolution on moratorium on the use of the death penalty at the United Nations (UN) general assembly.

Former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom before his election defeat to the opposition alliance had 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 last year, capital punishment regulations were amended to allow for hanging in addition to lethal injections as methods of execution.

The then government had also set-up an execution chamber in the country's main prison in Maafushi island and had announced plans for a second.

There are currently three convicts on death row who have been sentenced. They are Hussain Humam convicted of murdering Dr Afrasheem Ali, Ahmed Murrath convicted of murdering Ahmed Najeeb and Mohamed Nabeel convicted of murdering Abdulla Farhad.

Amnesty International had accused the then government of looking to enforce the death penalty to divert attention from the ongoing political turmoil in the archipelago.