The following  press release was prepared by the United Nations in New York and issued in Male’ related to the recent request for asylum by Mr. Ahmed Abbas.

On Thursday 2nd November, Mr. Ahmed Abbas, a Maldivian national, entered the UN premises in Male’ and sought asylum.  The Government informed the United Nations Resident Coordinator that Mr. Abbas had been sentenced to 6 months of imprisonment and provided him with a copy of the judgment handed down by the Criminal Court on 1st November.

The UN Resident Coordinator reported the facts to the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 2nd November. Since the United Nations can provide protection only in cases where there is an immediate and grave threat to an individual’s life, the UN Headquarters instructed the Resident Coordinator to ask Mr. Abbas to leave the premises. He did so without delay. It should be noted that the United Nations premises are inviolable, and that no police nor any security official of the Government entered the premises.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator urged the Authorities to treat Mr. Abbas in a fair manner and to respect his human rights.The United Nations wishes to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of dialogue and restraint in the present context of political reform.

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