Supreme Court accuses Amnesty of Islamophobia, hate crimes

Supreme Court accuses Amnesty of Islamophobia, hate crimes
March 03 14:22 2016

The Maldives’ Supreme Court has hit back furiously at criticisms by Amnesty International, accusing the world-renowned human rights group of Islamophobia, political bias, and hate crimes against the Maldivian people.

In a statement in English, the Supreme Court on Wednesday, said Amnesty’s annual report on the Maldives, released last month, was marred by inaccurate, incomplete and at times false information.

The report had expressed concern over the continued practice of flogging, and judicial overreach and lack of independence, by highlighting the jailing of opposition politicians in “grossly unfair” trials as well as the apex court’s treason charge against the human rights watchdog.

“The Maldives judiciary shall not show favoritism towards politicians, and shall not take Amnesty International’s love and sympathy for a particular politician as reason to grant him/her a special status above the law,” the statement read.

“Amnesty’s repeated condemnations of the Maldives Judiciary and its decisions on the basis of false and half-true information provided by its clandestinely selected pool of politically motivated informants and taken from social media is an attempt to intimidate and interfere with the courts of a sovereign nation.”

It further said Amnesty’s criticism is “seen as a crime of hate against the Maldivian people, and an attempt to subvert the sovereign rights of the Maldivian people over their nation and is hereby condemned in strongest of terms.”

Critics of the regime sentenced on terror charges – which include former President Mohamed Nasheed and the Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla – have the right to appeal, a fact Amnesty “conveniently failed” to note, the statement read.

Flogging is practiced equally among men and women, the court insisted, despite its own statistics demonstrating that women make up the majority of those flogged.

“Amnesty’s self-righteous and pretentious claims against flogging, a punishment prescribed for fornication but also for false accusation of the crime against a Muslim woman, is and will always be seen as an Islamophobic, racist and spiteful attack on the Maldivian People, intended to inflict hurt,” the apex court said.

It added that Amnesty’s “narrow minded, insensitive, and intellectually ludicrous criticism of Islamic Law is irrelevant to Muslims, except that it creates a lot of pain and resentment.”

The Supreme Court also defended a controversial case it had initiated against the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives over a submission made to the UN, saying the judgment had in fact protected the Maldives’ sovereignty.

UN human rights experts have called the ruling, which imposed several restrictions on the HRCM including barring it from communicating with foreign organisations without government oversight, as an act of reprisal.

The Supreme Court said Amnesty’s criticism encourages demagogy and socio-political corruption. The body needs to find a more mature, tolerant and broadminded approach to protecting human rights, it added.

Amnesty also needs to “stop flattering themselves with the wrong and juvenile idea that their ideological, religious and moral convictions constitute a universal yardstick with which every people on earth should be measured and judged.”

The court, however, assured the international community that it would, “as always, warmly welcome any criticism and assistance to its programs of development and progress,” if made in good faith.