As part of his tour to Europe, President Mohamed Nasheed has yesterday met with officials from major human rights NGOs based in Geneva.

The meeting was attended by Mr Mark Thompson, Association for the Prevention of Torture; Ms Julie De Reveiro, Human Rights Watch; Mr Jan Borgen, Amnesty International; Mr Wilbur Taylor, International Commission of Jurists; Mr Mohamed Mustapha Kabbaj, Nord-Sud XXI.

Discussions were mainly focused on extending the support of the NGOs present at the meeting, to strengthen the role of civil society of the Maldives in their respective areas, especially in the areas of protecting and promoting human rights.

President said the Maldives has been undergoing major changes, and noted the importance of the civil society for the process of consolidating democracy in the Maldives. He said strengthening the role of civil society in the Maldives was a priority of the government.