In the Maldives, as next year’s elections approach, the Government is increasingly cracking down on critical views. After several Members of Parliament were stripped of their seats following an attempted no-confidence vote against the Speaker, and the unprecedented lock-down by the military on 24 July, the Parliament remains paralysed, and several of its Members and opposition leaders face charges. I am concerned by reports of continued violations of the right to a fair trial, and allegations of political bias by the judiciary and law enforcement authorities. Trust in government institutions is breaking down and I call on the Government to establish an enabling environment for the exercise of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and assembly, and to respect the people’s right to an independent and impartial judiciary. I deplore the Government’s plan to resume capital punishment by the end of this month, after more than 65 years of moratorium. There are currently 20 individuals on death row, among them several whose convictions raise serious issues of due process, including people with mental health concerns or who were under 18 when they allegedly committed crimes. I have repeatedly intervened with the Government requesting it not to go ahead with this plan and again urge it today to step back from this harsh decision.