‘India needs to help protect democracy in Maldives’: Firstpost

India, despite considerable public opinion that supported Nasheed, sought to take a seemingly principled stand that it won’t meddle with another country’s sovereignty even while maintaining that it respected Nasheed’s privileges as a former head of state while he stayed put in its building in Male, writes G Pramod Kumar for India’s Firstpost publication.

As the impasse continued – Nasheed staying at the IHC and the Maldivian judiciary and the government in hot pursuit – India sent a team for negotiations to Male. Apparently, they agreed to some common grounds following which Nasheed walked out of the building on 23 February.

In less than two weeks, he was arrested and taken to Dhoonidhoo detention centre, where had been lodged and allegedly tortured during his pro-democracy campaign while Gayoom was in power, felling fears that the government has reneged on its promise to India and he might be tortured again. Amnesty International accused the government of using excessive force while arresting him.

However, he was released four days later, clearly indicating that the government was not keen to keep him in jail.“Honorable judges, this charge against me is a deliberate attempt by the prosecutor general to bar the presidential candidate of the largest opposition political party of this country from contesting the next presidential elections,” he told the court. His case will come up for hearing end of March and he still has a travel ban on him that restricts him to Male.

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