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UN expert on torture visits the Maldives

Dhivehi language version

GENEVA (14 November 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, will carry out his first official visit to the Maldives from 17 to 24 November 2019.

The visit is at invitation of the Government and follows its commitment to undertake wide-ranging, systemic reforms of the country's institutions in response to past acts of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, and to make prevention a top priority.  Melzer will assess developments in the prohibition of such practices and identify the challenges that remain.

"I look forward to an open and constructive dialogue with the authorities and other key groups with the goal of strengthening the implementation of international human rights standards as part of the country's prison reform initiative," Melzer said.

During the visit, the Special Rapporteur will meet senior Government officials, members of parliament and of the judiciary, representatives of civil society and national human rights mechanisms, lawyers, academics, activists, and victims and their families.

He will also visit places where people are institutionalized or otherwise deprived of their liberty in contexts such as criminal justice, immigration, health and social care.

The Special Rapporteur intends to share his preliminary observations at a press conference on 24 November 2019, at 13:30 local time, at the Maagiri Hotel in Malé. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

His final report on the visit will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2021.


Mr. Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights country page – Maldives

For more information and media requests, please contact Mr. Sharof Azizov (+41 22 917 9748 in Geneva and +41 79 444 4332 in the Maldives / sazizov@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:

Mr. Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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