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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Abuses Basic Human Rights of the Maldivians and Muslims

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited Maldives from 22-24 November, 2011. This was the first-ever visit by a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Maldives. During her visit she gave a keynote address to the Maldives parliament, the People’s Majlis, on 24 November. She also held a press conference at the UN building in the Maldives capital Male’ on Thursday 24 November 2011 at 17:45. The website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives reveals that her sudden visit was at the invitation of the government of the Maldives. Many Maldivians raise eyebrows on this very fact that this sudden visit by her to hurl abuse on Maldivians coincided with the public outrage on idolatrous SAARC monuments in Addu, Maldives.

3532 65 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Abuses Basic Human Rights of the Maldivians and Muslims

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay: Abusing basic human rights of Maldivians in a speech she delivered to Maldives parliamentarians.

It was in her speech to the parliament and during the press conference, that she fell from grace and abused the most basic human rights of the Maldivians with her antireligious remarks as well as her abuse of Maldivians as a whole. How ironic it is, that the very person who is tasked with protecting human rights of all UN member nations committed this heinous crime.

Her mission was clear: to challenge The Islamic Sharia and the constitution of the Maldives and therefore, abuse human rights of the Maldivians by attacking both their religion and their constitution.

During her speech in the parliament on 24 Novermber, 2011, she said that flogging women convicted of extra-marital sex is one of the most inhumane forms of violence against women. “This practice constitutes one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women and should have no place in the legal framework of a democratic country. I strongly believe that a public debate is needed in Maldives on this issue of major concern,” Navi Pillay said in her address to the MPs. However the truth of the matter is that flogging is carried out for both men and women equality; 100 lashes each if convicted. So she clearly missed the point. It’s simply not true to say it is discriminatory against women when both men and women receive the same sentence. MPs from from the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim and at least one MP of ruling Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) boycotted the meeting, knowing that Millay is such an anti-Islamic figure who regularly insults Islam and Muslims alike.

And again the same day, she repeated her abuses speaking to journalists at the United Nations Building in Male before concluding her four-day visit to the island nation. She called on Maldivian authorities to remove the constitutional provision that requires every citizen to be a Muslim. She said the provision is discriminatory and does not comply with the international standards. “I would again urge a debate on that to open up the benefits of the constitution to all and to remove that discriminatory provision,” she said. Asked why she made her remarks about flogging when it violates the Maldivian constitution, Pillay said that “I don’t believe you have a constitution”.

However, her remarks about remove the constitutional provision that requires every citizen to be a Muslim, is out of context. It is worth noting that the Maldives is a 100% Muslim country and therefore this particular call by her is rather irrelevant to the Maldives context; it may be relevant to those countries where there are different religious groups. In addition to that, it is also worth noting that no single Maldivian have been deported from the country due to religious beliefs. So, why she abused Maldivians like that? Sheer ignorance?

Her remarks that she does not believe there is a constitution in the Maldives raises serious concerns. Maldives is the a model democracy among Muslim nations and it’s constitutions is part of this promising democracy. Therefore, saying there is not constitution in the Maldives indicates her disrespect to the democratic process in the Maldives.

These remarks by her about the most basic human rights of Maldivians; their religion and their constitution can be regarded as abusing these rights of Maldivians. For these reasons, a vast majority of Maldivian are voicing their concerns against these remarks by her through protests and through social media such as facebook and also by the comments they leave on local news papers such as Haveeru daily.

majeed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Abuses Basic Human Rights of the Maldivians and Muslims

Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Abdul Majeed Abdul Baree denouncing Pillay’s remarks

Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Abdul Majeed Abdul Bary strongly denounced Pillay’s remarks and said that flogging is one of the important rulings of Islam and there is no room for a public debate on this issue. A ruling party MP Abdulla Abdul Raheem who boycotted her speech later in a parliamentary session said that such a person as Pillay who do not accept the constitution of a democratic country, should not be in such a high post of United Nations. He also said that her speech at the parliament should be deleted from the minutes of the parliament because it is such a disgrace that she caused there. Many, including MP Abdulla Abdul Raheem and the independent MP Mohamed Nasheed criticized the speaker of the parliament for allowing her to speak in the parliament.

raheem UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Abuses Basic Human Rights of the Maldivians and Muslims

Ruling party MP Abdulla Abdul Raheem called for the resignation of Pillay from UN job for not accepting the constitution of Maldives

One comment left on Haveeru daily said “she needs to learn how to respect others religion…. Maldives is a peaceful country where all are Muslims. For the ambassador it is better to learn how to avoid conflicts in communities rather than making conflicting statements and run away.” Another comment, also on Haveeru, said if she doesn’t know how to respect others’ religion, she is not fit to be a human rights ambassador. Just let us be in our religion, Islam doesn’t need any modification from anyone!” Another comment for another news article of her said “Madam, it’s not only in Islam, the extra-marital sex is forbidden…there are other religions as well…just that in Islam there is a punishment for a sin, does not mean, it has to be changed for the sake of your ‘Human Rights’. If you are so ‘Human Right concerned’ you may think of getting involved in Palestine-Israel issues and you may find a lifetime works there’.

nasheed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Abuses Basic Human Rights of the Maldivians and Muslims

Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed criticised the speaker of the Maldives parliament for allowing Pillay to speak in the parliament

The comments left on Haveeru touches important issues. One such comment said “UN Charter dictates that all respect others religion, culture and sovereignty. In her capacity as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay has violated our rights and interfered with our internal affairs. I would like to ask her if an occasional flogging is worse than gang rapping and broad daylight murders that are occurring on a daily basis in the countries that has multi religions? Is she blind to what is happening in Israel occupied Palestinian land?”

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Protest in the capital Male’ against UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay calling for her arrest

There are countless complaints by thousands of Maldivians on facebook also. Many raising the question of the hidden agenda behind her controversial remarks in Maldives. In addition to that, the outrage of caused by Pillay came on streets in the form public protests in the capital Male’ on the next day. Haveery daily reported that Protestors gathered outside the United Nations Building in Male on 25 November 2011, condemning UN human rights chief’s comments against flogging and the constitutional provision that requires every Maldivian to be a Muslim. The protestors who carried signboards with angry slogans first surrounded the UN Building on Buruzu Magu afternoon on 25 November and called authorities to arrest Navi Pillay who concluded her four-day visit to the island nation yesterday.

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