President of Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), Aminath Eenas and the commission’s member Aishath Afreen have resigned.
The two officials resigned while the parliament has been debating to terminate HRCM’s members and tasked the parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Gender to evaluate the issue. The parliament committee has instructed members to respond by Sunday regarding the issues raised against them. Eenas resigned after sending a written response to the parliament committee.
On the parliamentary sitting held on June 18, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed said he had sent a letter to the Human Rights Committee’s chairperson Jeehan Mahmood requesting to take the necessary actions to dismiss HRCM’s members.
The current regulation of the parliament states that if a committee believes that a member of an organisation must to be dismissed, it has to be informed to the Speaker. The speaker or chairperson of the parliamentary sitting shall announce that it has been forwarded to the respective committee.
The Committee on Human Rights and Gender compiled a report over the issue of terminating HRCM’s members. As per the report, the members did not adequately fulfill their responsibilities during the current public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The report was prepared in light of a proposal submitted by parliament’s majority leader MP Ali Azim, suggesting the parliament play an advisory role over the programmes implemented by the government due to the socio-economic impact on the businesses and individuals amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The current members of HRCM were appointed during the administration of former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom. The members are; the commission’s President Aminath Eenas, Vice-president Mohamed Zahir, member Moosa Ali Kaleyfaanu, member Naiveen Abdulla and, member Aishath Afreen.