March 14, 2018

Statement of ABA President Hilarie Bass Re: Arrest of Maldives judges

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2018 – The American Bar Association calls upon Maldives President Abdulla Yameen to immediately release and reinstate Maldivian Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed, currently detained without due process. The U.N. Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary underscore the importance of appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of judges and to protect them from threats or interference from any quarter or for any reason. The ABA is deeply concerned that the arrest and detention of the country’s highest judges violate the constitution of the Maldives and are contrary to international standards regarding the independence of the judiciary. The rule of law must stand above politics, and the preservation of the independence of the judiciary is paramount. The safety and security of the chief justice and all judges on the Maldivian bench are essential, and the ABA urges President Yameen to respect the courts and restore the judges to the bench.


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