Maldives Foreign Nationals and the Death Penalty Death Penalty Overview The Maldives, a country made up of 185 islands in the Indian Ocean, of cially has the death penalty, although they have not executed anyone since 1953. Despite being de facto abolitionist, the Maldives continues to sentence individuals to death, and an estimated 20 prisoners are currently being held on death row. Furthermore, the Maldives continue to vote against the UNGA moratorium on the death penalty, most recently in 2022, and numerous human rights violations in the Maldives connected with the death penalty persist (The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty 2019). The death penalty can be implemented in law for a number of offences, including murder, treason and certain terrorist acts, among others. Several politicians, including presidential candidates have voiced support for harsher drug laws in the country, mirroring the ‘Singapore model’, which allows for the death penalty for drug offences. The imposition of the death penalty in the Maldives is not mandatory for any crime, with courts having discretion to impose a death sentence even under Shariah law. Unlike in other majority Muslim nations, whilst the heirs of the victim may be sought for a determination of whether or not they wish for a retributive death penalty or pardon, the Supreme Court holds the nal say on issuing the sentence. fi fi fi fi fi In 2016, the country came under re from human rights groups such as Amnesty International when then president Abdulla Yameen announced that the Maldives were planning to resume executions. He referenced rising murder-rates and an increase in drug traf cking as justi cation for the end to a 60-year moratorium on executions (Aneez 2017). Mohamed Hussain

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