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Friends Of Maldives - Press Release
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EU resolution calls for sanctions against Maldivian "dictator"
16.09.2004, European Parliament, Strasbourg
The European Parliament today voted unanimously on imposing sanctions against the regime of Maumoon Gayoom in the Maldives.
The strongly worded motion, passed by 170 MEPs with none against, calls upon "President Gayoom to immediately repeal the state of emergency in the Maldives, guarantee the fundamental human rights of his citizens, and release the pro-democracy reformers he arrested on 14th August." The resolution goes on to demand an "immediate cessation of all non-humanitarian aid to the Maldives and an immediate travel ban in order to prevent members of the Government and other officials of the Maldives from entering the Member States of the European Union." It calls on “The European Union to issue thorough warnings to all tourists planning to go to the Maldives of the human rights record of this country."
The debate in the European Parliament this week, which represents 450 million EU citizens, follows a statement by the Heads of the European Union accredited to the Maldives on 7th September. That statement condemned the Maldivian regime’s handling of the massive pro-democracy protests on 12-13th August. Lasting over 20 hours and involving up to 12,000 people, protesters called for the resignation of President Gayoom and the release of all political prisoners in the Maldives.
In response, Gayoom sent in the riot police, injuring many protestors, declared a State of Emergency and arrested hundreds of known pro-democracy supporters. Over eighty still remain in prison without charge. Amnesty International has expressed concern for their safety in view of the Maldivian government’s poor human rights record.
President Gayoom, referred to as a "dictator" by MEPs in the European Parliament today, is Asia’s longest serving ruler having been in power for over 26 years.
© Dhivehi Observer 2004