Thursday, July 19, 2007

Court orders Atolls Ministry to compensate activist

A political and human rights activist who was fired from her post at Atolls Ministry in November 2006 has won a court case claiming compensation for unfair dismissal. The Civil Court ruled on Sunday that the Atolls Ministry should pay Zaheena Rasheed Rf16,000 as compensation.

Zaheena was fired after she attended a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) demonstration as an interpreter for foreign observers invited by Maldivian Detainee Network.

Paul Roberts from Minivan News reports on the ruling:

In December, although she says “I received no encouragement and was told I didn’t stand a chance,” Zaheena made history by becoming the first person to sue the government for wrongful dismissal. And on Sunday she was vindicated when Judge Abdullah Hameed found she had not broken any of her terms of employment.


The Court's ruling in favour of Zaheena creates a precedent for other workers who have been treated unfairly to lodge similar cases to claim compensation. However, it remains to be seen if the judicial system in the Maldives - which has been under the tight control of the executive during the Gayoom regime with no separation of powers - will deliver justice to hundreds of workers who have been unfairly treated by employers.

Zaheena has nevertheless created an example for workers to fight the injustices of the government.

The blog of Fenfulhangi also has a post on the outcome of the case.

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