President makes appointments to Office of Ombudsperson for Transitional Justice

The newly appointed chief ombudsperson Abdul Salaam Arif | photo: Sun

Male’, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has appointed a chief ombudsperson and ombudspersons to the newly established Office of the Ombudsperson for Transitional Justice.

The appointments to the office established under the Transitional Justice Act enacted in December 2020 were made last Friday.

The newly appointed chief ombudsperson is Abdul Salaam Arif from N. Maafaru. Abdul Salaam Arif holds a Master’s Degree in Comparative Laws from the International Islamic University of Malaysia. He previously served as Vice President at the Tax Appeal Tribunal and also ran in the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) primaries for the Parliamentary Elections 2019.

Two more appointments were made to the position of ombudspersons; Jihada Anees and Mariyam Laiza. Jihada Anees majored in International Maritime Law at the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), Malta, for her Master’s of Law. She previously worked as Assistant State Attorney at the Attorney General’s Office. Meanwhile, Mariyam Laiza holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratization from Mahidol University in Thailand. She last served as a lecturer at the Maldives National University (MNU).

The Transitional Justice Act sanctions investigations into wrongdoings by state authorities, heads of agencies, or individuals in power, which resulted in human rights violations between January 1, 1953 to November 17, 2018.

The Office of Ombudsperson for Transitional Justice is an autonomous legal entity vested with powers to communicate, file lawsuits and receive court charges. The office is mandated to secure compensations for people whose human rights were violated due to systematic abuse.