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Saturday, August 21, 2004

Constitution of Maldives - Chapter II: Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens

13. Maldivian citizens are equal before and under the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

 

14.—    (1) No Maldivian shall be deprived of citizenship except as may be provided by law.

 

(2) Any person wishing to renounce the right to Maldivian citizenship may do so as provided by law.

 

15.— (1)

(a)     The right to protection under the law, the guarantee thereof, and treatment in accordance with the law shall be an inalienable right of every Maldivian citizen, irrespective of where he may be, and of every person while in the Maldives.

(b)     No person shall be arrested or detained except as provided by law. No person shall be detained for a period exceeding twenty-four hours without being informed of the grounds of arrest or detention.

(c)      No act detrimental to the life, liberty, body, name, reputation or property of a person shall be committed except as provided by law.

(d)     No person charged with an offence shall be kept in detention for a period exceeding seven days except as provided by law.

 

(2) Any Maldivian citizen subjected to oppressive treatment shall have the right to appeal against such treatment to the concerned authorities and to the President of the Republic.

 

16.—    (1) Every person shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

(2) Every person who is charged with an offence shall have the right to defend himself in accordance with Shari’ah. To this effect, such a person shall be allowed to obtain the assistance of a lawyer whenever such assistance is required.

 

17.—    (1) No law shall authorise the punishment of a person for an act or omission that did not constitute a criminal offence at the time of the act or omission.

 

(2) No law shall authorise the punishment of a person for an offence by a penalty greater than, or of a kind different from the penalty prescribed by law for that offence at the time that offence was committed.

 

(3) No person shall be punished for the same offence more than once.

 

18. Residential dwellings and the premises thereof shall be inviolable. Such dwellings and premises shall not be entered except as provided by law.

 

19. Persons shall be free to acquire knowledge and to impart knowledge provided that such acquisition and imparting of knowledge does not contravene law.

 

20. Letters, messages, telephonic conversations and such other means of communication shall be inviolable. Such letters, messages, telephonic conversations and other means of communication shall not be intercepted, read, listened to or divulged except as expressly provided by law.

 

21. Every Maldivian citizen shall have the right to return to the Maldives irrespective of where he may be and, unless prohibited by law, to leave the Maldives and to travel within the Maldives.

 

22. Every citizen shall have the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property in accordance with law.

 

23.—    (1) Property of persons shall be inviolable. No person shall be deprived of his property except as provided by law or Shari’ah.

 

(2) No property of a person shall be compulsorily acquired by the State except in the instances specified in law and except for public benefit and unless fair and just compensation in accordance with law is made for such property.

 

(3) Property of a person shall not be forfeited in substitution for any offence.

 

(4) Nothing in this Article shall affect the making of or operation of the following laws:

(a)      any law authorising the State to compulsorily acquire or take possession of, without compensation, any property that may be injurious to life or property or health of the people;

(b)      any law authorising the State to forfeit property proven in court to have been illegally and wrongfully acquired; and

(c)       any law authorising the State to forfeit enemy property and to dispose of such property.

 

24. Every citizen shall have the right to practice any occupation provided that such occupation is not prohibited by law.

 

25. Every citizen shall have the freedom to express his conscience and thoughts orally or in writing or by other means, unless prohibited by law in the interest of protecting the sovereignty of the Maldives, of maintaining public order and of protecting the basic tenets of Islam.

 

26. Persons shall be free to assemble peaceably and in a manner that does not contravene the law.

 

27. Persons shall be free to form societies and associations, unless prohibited by law in the interest of the protection of sovereignty of the Maldives and the maintenance of public order.

 

28. Every Maldivian citizen engaged in employment shall have the right of pension in accordance with law.

 

29. Loyalty to the State and obedience to the Constitution and to the law of the Maldives shall be the duty of every Maldivian citizen, irrespective of where he may be.

 

30. It shall be the duty of every Maldivian citizen to protect and uphold the Constitution and the laws of the Maldives and to honour the freedoms and rights of others.

 

31.—    (1) Where any law, regulation or any principle having the force of law is inconsistent with the fundamental rights stipulated in this Chapter, such law, regulation or principle shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.

 

(2) The fundamental rights stipulated in this Chapter shall not, temporarily or otherwise, be denied save in accordance with this Constitution.

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