The Maldives passed a regulation to grant clemency to convicts of minor crimes under the president’s initiative on condition that the convict is not charged with any major criminal offences and is not regarded as a “threat” to society.
Initially, the regulation on granting clemency under the president’s initiative stated that clemency may be granted to convicts of minor crimes upon completion of one fourth of their sentences. However, this part of the regulation has been abolished and amended.
The newly rectified regulation states that the president may grant clemency if the convict has no charges of any serious crimes, is not classified as a threat to society, and no longer has the opportunity to appeal their case.
As per the regulation, a seven-member technical committee has to be created within the Ministry of Home Affairs to act as an advisory committee to the president. This committee should include members from Maldives Police Service, Correctional Service, two public representatives, an official of the Home Ministry and a medical doctor.
The committee is mandated to collect information on eligible convicts, conduct their assessments and forward them to the President’s Office.
The regulation adds that clemency will be granted under various conditions that vary from person to person according to the number of pending years in their sentences.
Furthermore, clemency will be granted to drug abusers only if they have completed the rehabilitation offered by the Drug Court, also taking the number of years left in their sentences into account.
While this regulation has now been enforced, convicts still have the opportunity to seek clemency under the Clemency Act. This regulation only refers to clemency offered by the president.