Statement as delivered by Ambassador Keith M. Harper
Representative of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council
22nd Session of the HRC Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
May 6, 2015
We welcome the delegation from Maldives.
We recommend Maldives:
- End politically-motivated prosecutions and court proceedings, including those against members of the Human Rights Commission, and address the cases of individuals who have been convicted and imprisoned without minimum fair trial guarantees, such as former President Nasheed;
- Strengthen the independence of the judiciary by reforming the Judicial Services Commission’s process for selecting and appointing judges; and
- Develop legislation guaranteeing workers’ rights, including for migrant workers, and enhance efforts to combat fraudulent recruitment.
We are concerned that recent developments, in which fair trial guarantees have not been upheld, call into question the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. We are particularly concerned by the use of politically-motivated prosecutions against critics of the courts and the government. The supreme court’s proceedings against the domestic Human Rights Commission are also worrisome.
We are concerned that non-Muslims cannot become citizens and the government controls all religious matters.
Lastly, we are concerned Maldives lacks laws to effectively implement labor rights.