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News in brief: criminal court suspends trial telecasts

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture is due to visit next week.



The criminal court’s council of judges has decided to suspend telecasts of trials to review procedures for authorising live broadcasts.

As the rules allow for the broadcast of any trial without exception, some judges expressed concern over adversely affecting public opinion, which could sow discord and cause loss of trust in the judiciary, the court said on Thursday, In some cases, ongoing investigations could also be hindered and witnesses could be able to change testimony based on previous hearings, it added. 

In July, former president Abdulla Yameen’s trial on money laundering charges became the first to be broadcast live on television. A decision on continuing the telecast would be made after consulting both the prosecution and defence at the next hearing, the court said.

UN Special Rapporteur on torture to visit Maldives

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer is due to visit the Maldives for an eight-day visit next Sunday.

Melzer was invited by the government to assess “wide-ranging, systemic reforms of the country’s institutions in response to past acts of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment,” according to the UN. “I look forward to an open and constructive dialogue with the authorities and other key groups with the goal of strengthening the implementation of international human rights standards as part of the country’s prison reform initiative,” Melzer said.

The rights expert will meet government officials, lawmakers and judges as well as representatives of civil society and national human rights mechanisms, lawyers, academics, activists, victims and their families. He will also visit prions and custodial facilities.

After sharing preliminary observations with the local press on November 24, a report on the visit will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2021.

Construction worker injured in fall

A 40-year-old Bangladeshi worker was injured on Wednesday after falling from a building under construction in Hulhumalé.

According to police, the man suffered injuries to his shoulder and broke ribs. He fell while trying to raise safety nets in the construction site without wearing a safety belt, police said. The man was treated at the Hulhumalé hospital.

Construction-site accidents are common in the capital and its suburbs. In September, a construction worker died after falling from the eighth floor of a building in Hulhumalé. In July, a 24-year-old Bangladeshi construction worker died after being crushed by a falling “jumbo bag” of cement. A 44-year-old Bangladeshi man died in February after he was hit by a falling stone at a construction site in Hulhumalé.

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