Canada Deeply Troubled by Democratic Deficit in Maldives

September 28, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada is deeply troubled by the reported September 25 travel ban of former President Nasheed in Malé, Maldives.

“I directly raised the persecution of 19 other Maldives Democratic Party politicians and party officials directly to President Waheed today.

“President Waheed offered no substantial defence of these questions, which is a telling response in itself.

“Canada finds the declining state of democratic values in the Maldives alarming and deeply troubling.

“The recently adopted Commission of National Inquiry report has raised substantial concerns about the independence of the judiciary. That too causes Canada grave concern as we strive to assure independent open elections in the Maldives.

“Canada will continue to raise these concerns forcefully at every meeting to ensure that the Commonwealth principles and values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law are reflected and adhered to.

“Canada with others fought to keep Maldives on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group agenda, and we are glad it remains there. We will continue to focus on anti-democratic activities in the Maldives, especially in terms of police brutality, and intimidation of opposition parliamentarians.”

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