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Maldives quits Commonwealth; Amnesty says country should address its own human rights situation
On Thursday, island nation Maldives announced its decision to quit Commonwealth after the grouping's decision to penalise it over the circumstances that led to the ouster of then President Mohamed Nasheed's in 2012.

The Commonwealth, a grouping of 53 nations, was also not happy over the lack of subsequent progress in resolving the political unrest.

Maldives foreign affairs ministry said the decision to quit Commonwealth was quite difficult, but inevitable.

Responding to the announcement that the Maldives government has decided to "leave" the Commonwealth because of criticism of its human rights record, Amnesty International's South Asia Director Champa Patel said the Maldives authorities should address their own human rights situation rather than lash out at legitimate criticism.

The Amnesty International in its observation noted that the human rights had been in a complete free fall in the country over the past few years. The government has locked up opponents through politically motivated trials and led an unprecedented crackdown on independent media.

Authorities have also threatened to end a decades-long moratorium on the death penalty and carry out the first executions in more than 60 years.

"Instead of complaining about unfair treatment, the Maldives government should look at engaging more constructively with the international community," the human rights body said.

Last month, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), had warned Maldives that it could face suspension from the grouping. 

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