Maldives | 31 October 2019

Maldives: New government plays the same old tune

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President Solih has promised to do everything necessary to defend Islam against being insulted, as reported by the Maldives Independent (MI) on 7 October 2019.‚  Thomas Muller, persecution analyst at World Watch Research, comments: "After the elections in 2018, there was great hope that the new government would bring about change and indeed there were some positive signs. At the same time, however, the new government is going to great lengths to prove that it will protect the Maldives from being anything other than 100% Islamic. The fact that the respected local NGO "˜Maldives Democracy Network" was the subject of parliamentary debate for a supposedly "˜anti-Islamic" report about Maldivian textbooks (MI, 5 October 2019) published back in 2015, points to the fact that this was being used as a test case. In this respect, it seems that the new government is playing the same old tune as the previous government. As reported by MI on 12 October 2019, the NGO"s legal existence was revoked, despite its apologies for "˜insensitive language" and international protests. Thus it seems fair to say that no positive change for minorities - let alone improvements in basic human rights - can be expected in the Maldives anytime soon."


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