Ombudsperson's office for transitional justice to investigate 19 cases

Ombudsperson's Office for Transitional Justice (OTJ) has revealed it has decided to investigate 19 cases. OTJ has received 84 cases since opening the opportunity for individuals to submit cases from June 13 to August 13.

Speaking to PSM News, Director-General Ahmed Yameen said OTJ has received 78 civil cases and 6 criminal cases, adding that 57 cases were submitted with the case form and 27 cases were submitted with the form requesting compensation. Yameen said OTJ is continuing to work towards investigating more cases and that it has sent confirmation documents for 74 cases and assigned registration numbers for 39 cases.

He also said OTJ is focused on concluding the cases quickly by obtaining the necessary documents and with assistance from the relevant institutions. He added OTJ will deploy a team out to obtain the necessary documents since there are numerous cases from the atolls and that the office will also send the team abroad if necessary.

OTJ was established following the ratification of the Transitional Justice Act on December 17, 2020. It functions as an autonomous legal identity vested with powers to communicate, file a lawsuit or receive court charges under the Transitional Justice Act. The act sanctions investigations into past wrongdoings by state authorities, heads of agencies, or individuals in power, which resulted in human rights violations. The act also strengthens accountability mechanisms, provides a framework for redress and reparations for victims of the abuse of power, and outlines measures to avoid such abuses of authority in the future.

The eligibility timeframe for cases that may be investigated by OTJ runs from January 1, 1953, until November 17, 2018.