Rights groups alarmed over planned executions in Maldives

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Human rights groups have expressed concern over the Maldives government's purported plan to carry out its first execution in 60 years. Seven groups, including Amnesty International, Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development said in a statement Thursday that they have seen credible reports that the convictions have been secured through forced confessions and other due process violations.

They say all three prisoners currently on death row did not receive fair trials.

President Yameen Abdul Gayoom said earlier this week that the country will execute the first of the three convicts next month.

Maldivian authorities have from time to time vowed to carry out the death penalty for the past three years but have postponed them amid international concerns.