Death penalty will be abolished only with public agreement

Attorney General of the Maldives, Ibrahim Riffath stated that the death penalty can be abolished only if the people of the Maldives wishes for it.

During the third cycle of Universal Periodic Review, Ibrahim Riffath stated that several western countries have been demanding the abolition of death penalty in the Maldives. However, the decision involves bringing several changes to the laws and regulations in Maldives as well as the approval of the general public, said Riffath.

After the current government came into power, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had stated in 2018 that the death penalty will be abolished. Although a final decision regarding the abolishing of death penalty has not been made yet, the death penalty will not be implemented for now, assured the AG.

Back in 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the decision to abolish the death penalty in Maldives for the past 65 years will be maintained by the new government. Additionally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed support to the United Nation’s Death Penalty Moratorium Resolution. This brought a lot of criticism towards the current government from religious scholars and the general public.

However, during the regime of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the government stated that the death penalty will not be abolished. It was decided then that the method of execution will be by lethal injection or hanging, after establishing a legal procedure for the execution. According to the legal procedure for execution, a certain criterion must be met before the execution. However, no actions were taken towards capital punishment while the government changed.

Convicts sentenced to death in Maldives include Hussain Humam for the murder of Dr. Afrasheem Ali, Ahmed Murrath for the murder of lawyer Ahmed Najeeb in 2012, and Mohamed Nabeel for the murder of Abdulla Faruhadh. However, their executions have been on hold.