International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Is Maldives’ Democracy in Jeopardy?

maldives

The state of Maldives only recently turned democratic in 2008.  Its recent withdrawal from the Commonwealth along with accusations of human rights violations could lead to a collapse of their democratic system. The Guardian released an article stating the Commonwealth’s concerns over Maldives’ corruption.  There have been accusations of money laundering and “further evidence of curbing fundamental rights, targeted persecution of opposition leaders [and] misuse of state institutions (including the judiciary, legislature and the police) to restrict, crush and punish dissent” found by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.  Many opposing individuals of the current government have been detained or prosecuted.

News outlets and NGOs located in Maldives have been raided by government officials after negative reports were released about the current president, Abdulla Yameen. Journalists who publish allegations against the president are often accused of crimes such as terrorism.  The current editor of The Maldivian Independent stated in her interview, “We’ve had one of our journalists disappear, a machete attack on our door, and our security cameras vandalised, so we’ve had to relocate once before. It’s not a safe place for journalists at all.” This type of media reporting is now considered a criminal offense in Maldives, which has been criticized by the UN as limiting their freedom of expression. With such strict government control and corruption, as well as a growing number of individuals leaving the country to join the fight in Syria, the democratic government could collapse.

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