UN asks Maldives to retain death penalty moratorium

United Nations: Voicing concern over recent developments pertaining to capital punishment in Maldives, the UN Human Rights chief has exhorted the government to refrain from carrying out planned executions and uphold the de facto moratorium that has been in place in the country for over six decades.

"The Maldives has long provided important leadership on global efforts to bring an end to the use of death penalty, so it is deeply regrettable that a series of steps have been taken to resume executions in the country," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a press release.

Last November, the High Court decided that the President may no longer exercise the power of commuting death sentences to life imprisonment.

In June this year, capital punishment regulations were further amended to allow for hanging in addition to lethal injections as methods of execution.