South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, condemns the attack on the Maldivian Democratic Party’s Deputy Leader Rozaina Adam. The Member of Parliament (MP) was reportedly attacked by the Majority Leader in the Maldives Parliament during the parliamentary session on 24 February 2016. SAHR finds it equally regrettable that the Speaker of Parliament took no notice of the incident and continued the Parliamentary proceedings. The Speaker thus seemed to endorse a highly reprehensible act of the Majority Leader, allegedly intended to insult and humiliate the female MP.
SAHR is deeply concerned by complaints that female MPs in the Maldives have been physically attacked on a number of occasions inside the Parliament and have been threatened to be raped by fellow male MPs. SAHR understands that none of these acts of intimidation have been investigated. Women’s participation in politics is considered a part of good governance. When institutions who are the guardians of democratic values and of the rule of law fail to deter any deviant behavior within their own institutions, they injure not only their reputation but also erode the respect for democratic conduct amongst individual legislators.
SAHR calls upon the Speaker of Parliament and other relevant authorities in the Maldives to take immediate steps towards an impartial investigation into the incident and to ensure that proper reparations are made to the female MP, so that the dignity of the Parliament is safeguarded.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights.
Dr. Nimalka Fernando