Motion for dismissal of HRCM members sent to committee for review

Hinnavaru MP Jeehan Mahmood (C) chairs over a meeting of the Human Rights and Gender Committee. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

The Parliament, on Monday, sent the motion for dismissal of members of Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) to the Human Rights and Gender Committee for review.

The motion was declared on the parliamentary floor at the virtual sitting on Monday morning.

The motion for dismissal of HRCM members had been initiated by the HR and Gender Committee itself. However, an amendment to the Parliament’s Standing Orders requires that no-confidence motions against State officials to be declared on the parliamentary floor by the Speaker before relevant parliamentary committees may officially proceed with the motions.

HR and Gender Committee concluded its review into the work of the HRCM in response to the COVID-19 pandemic last week. It found the commission had failed to do sufficient work towards protecting the rights of the people.

The committee wrote in its report that the HRCM had been slow in initiating efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to other institutions. And that other institution had conducted more satisfactory work in that regard than HRCM, despite having fewer resources at their disposal.


  • Failure to conduct visits to assess the conditions of State-sponsored shelters prior to the Parliament filing a letter clarifying information from HRCM.
  • Failure to establish a method for prison inmates to file complaints with HRCM, despite the changes to the communication channels in and out of prisons in light of the pandemic.
  • Failure to declare HRCM’s stand or produce recommendations despite the sudden and drastic changes to the livelihoods of people due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
  • Failure to comply with Article 20 of Human Rights Commission Act which declares counseling the government with respect to protecting and upholding human rights as a responsibility of the HRCM.

The committee said that HRCM, as the national watchdog for human rights, was required to be the most active institution in protecting human right. It said that the commission needed to employ swift action in fulfilling its responsibility as the national watchdog, especially in light of the loss in employment and livelihoods of thousands, which threated the Maldives’ social security.

The committee also highlighted on prior allegations against HRCM and individual HRCM members. That includes failure to conduct a sufficient investigation and take action in response to abuse of children in the shelter – Kudakudhinge Hiyaa – in the hands of staff members, and lack of action in response to allegations of arbitrary detentions and other rights violations suffered by politicians during the former administration.

The committee also noted that the Parliament had voted in favor ofappointing HRCM member Moosa Ali Kaleyfaanu after a corruption case had been lodged against him with Prosecutor General’s Office.

HRCM is composed of:

  • Aminath Enas, President
  • Mohamed Zahid, Vice President
  • Moosa Ali Kaleyfaanu
  • Naiween Abdulla
  • Aisthath Afireen