The government of Maldives is cracking down on "any and all dissent" through the intimidation of political opponents and the media, Human Rights Watch said in a report published this week.
“The Maldives government has cracked down on any and all dissent, from activists and journalists to Supreme Court judges,” HRW's Asia director, Brad Adams.
“Immediate steps are needed to restore political freedoms and democratic rule to ensure free and fair elections in September.”
The report, 'An All-Out Assault on Democracy’: Crushing Dissent in the Maldives', details how the government has also used counterterrorism laws in order to detain opposition activists and politicians.
"Religious extremists and criminal gangs – including many that enjoy political protection – have assaulted and sometimes murdered dissenters with impunity. This has had crippling effects on the Maldives’ nascent democracy and struggling civil society," HRW said in a statement, calling on the United Nations and key international partners to ensure the government ends its repressive measures.