Jared Genser, a member of former president Mohamed Nasheed’s international legal team was denied a business visa upon his arrival in the Maldives today.
Genser, the founder of Freedom Now, an organization that works for the rights of political prisoners, entered Maldives on a tourist visa when he was denied the three-month work visa. He departed to Colombo after a few hours in Malé.
Genser is representing Nasheed along with Amal Clooney, the wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney, and Ben Emmerson, a UN rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights.
The three helped the opposition leader file a petition with the UN working group on arbitrary detention, requesting a judgment declaring Nasheed’s 13 year jail term on terrorism charges arbitrary and illegal.
Genser is expected to return to the Maldives to meet with Nasheed at a later date, a source familiar with the matter said. Nasheed was recently transferred to house arrest.
The government in the response to the UN working group insisted judges followed due process in Nasheed’s trial.
Diplomatic pressure has been mounting on President Abdulla Yameen’s government to release Nasheed and other jailed politicians, including two former defense ministers, a former MP of the ruling party, and the leader of the religious conservative Adhaalath Party.