In his weekly radio address, President Mohamed Nasheed has said that if any person believes his or her rights or freedoms have been violated by the government during its past one year, he or she has the opportunity to seek redress.

He said that human rights violations in the Maldives in the past were the main obstacles that hampered development.

The President said suppressing criticism against a government would lead to its corruption. He added protecting human rights was vital to a just polity.

Continuing further, the President said all human beings were free and equal and that no person should be subjected to any form of inhuman and degrading treatment.

The President also said that many Maldivians had lost their lives and had gone through torture during the past 30 years.

He emphasised the importance of investigating the past human rights abuses for the proper functioning of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives.

Welcoming President Obama’s efforts to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre

In his radio address, broadcast on state radio Voice of Maldives, the President reiterated his praise, in a speech in Maarandhoo island, for President Barack Obama for his efforts to close the Guantanamo Detention Centre.

The President said a number of people detained were found to have no links to terrorism.

He emphasised the importance of assisting the innocent detainees to live in freedom.

He said: “While the Maldives’ extending a helping hand to three of those detainees will not eliminate human inhumanism from the Maldives or the world, [helping the detainees] will be a symbolic gesture.”

He added that it was a national obligation to help others as much as the country could.

Fishermen’s Day

The President also spoke on the importance of marking the Fishermen’s Day. He said we must safeguard our oceans and that with the help of MNDF headquarters, this task would be strengthened.

Clemency Bill

Speaking on the Clemency Bill which was proposed to the People’s Majlis, the President said spirit was the same among all MPs and that the bill was being delayed not because the MPs had ignored the bill.

He further said that the people cannot be denied of the rights stipulated in the Constitution because there was no law for it.

National Football Team

In his radio address, the President also congratulated the National Football team for their excellent performance at the SAFF Championships. He also gave encouragement to the team to play with great determination to win the tournament.