Human Rights Current Affairs - 2019

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Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed sentenced to 13-year imprisonment

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was sentenced to 13-year imprisonment by country’s criminal court under the anti-terrorism laws.

He was charged under the island nation’s Anti-Terrorism Act, 1990 for his order to arrest a Criminal Court judge Abdulla Mohamed in 2012.  The case against Nasheed was based on the investigation report of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives into kidnapping of the Judge.

He was arrested for same charges on 22 February 2015 after court had issued warrant to stop him fleeing the country.

Mohamed Nasheed is Maldives first democratically elected President. He was in office from 2008 to 2012. He had resigned in 2012 after a mutiny by police and troops, followed weeks of protests over the arrest of Judge Abdullah Mohamed on corruption allegations.

Sri Lanka Parliament enacts witness protection law

Sri Lankan Parliament has passed the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Bill.

This bill aims at protecting the rights of criminal victims and witnesses especially in human rights accountability.

Key provisions of enacted law

  • Compensation to witnesses who cooperate with investigations.
  • Strict punitive action against those who harass victims or witnesses.
  • Stringent punishment of prison sentence from three to 10 years to the culprits.
  • Witnesses will receive fair treatment and privacy from judicial and investigatory authorities and protections against harassment.

Passage of this bill is seen as reflection of the Sri Lankan new government’s will to implement reforms. It also seeks to fulfill a long-held international demand for justice and human rights accountability in the country.


  • Since 2012, for consecutive three  years Sri Lanka had faced US-backed UN Human Rights Council (UN-HRC) resolutions on Human rights accountability.
  • UN-HRC 2014  resolution also had mandated Sri Lanka to set up of an international investigation into alleged human rights abuses during the 3 decade-long civil war that wiped out the LTTE.