Canada condemns Maldives govt’s “politically motivated threats to arrest its opponents”

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird has issued a statement expressing “deep concern” over ongoing political tensions in the Maldives, in particular the government’s “politically motivated threats to arrest its opponents.”

As Canada’s foreign minister, Baird is a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), the international body’s democracy and human rights arm that suspended the Maldives following the controversial transfer of power on February 7, and was behind the strengthening of President Mohamed Waheed’s Commission of National Inquiry (CNI).

“It is clear that the arrests of senior officials of the Nasheed government are politically motivated. Such actions are completely unacceptable and must be reversed,” Baird stated.

“The threats of the present government to arrest its opponents, including former President Nasheed – the only democratically elected president in the last four decades – so as to prevent his candidacy, undermine that government’s credibility and violate its undertakings to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. They also fly in the face of the core Commonwealth values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” Baird stated.

“The Maldives has been given the benefit of the doubt by the Commonwealth so far. Continued intimidation, illegal arrests and other authoritarian tactics by the present government may require the Commonwealth to consider a different approach, in our view.”

Nasheed was today ordered to attend police headquarters on August 2 concerning comments made during a tapped phone conversation released by police last week, in which the former President states “I think we need to fight back [against police].”

The government’s actions were, Baird said, “further evidence of the need for early elections, as Canada has repeatedly urged. These disputes must be settled, and the will of the people must be heard.”

“In order to safeguard the important democratic progress made in recent years, an inclusive political solution is critical to the future of Maldives. Canada will continue to work with the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to push for greater respect for democratic values.”

Canada’s statement on the state of the Maldives is among the most strongly-worded issued by another nation following the political turmoil of February 7, with the exception of Timor Leste (East Timor).

Nobel Peace Prize recipient and President of Timor Leste, José Ramos-Horta, issued a statement on February 21 condemning “the ousting under military pressure” of President Mohamed Nasheed in an ““obvious” coup d’état.

“It should be of concern to the World that extremist elements abusively invoking Islam were instrumental in stirring up violent demonstrations, religious intolerance and social upheaval as the coup d’état set in motion,” Ramos-Horta said at the time.

“Therefore, it is all the more strange and unsettling the silence with which big powers and leading democracies respond to the undemocratic developments in the Maldives. It has been a sad day for democracy in the Maldives and beyond.”

President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza said the Canadian Foreign Minister’s statement was “based on misinformation” as “no arrests have been made and all political opponents are free to conduct their protests every day.”

Riza suggested that the statement was based on information “received only from one side”.

As for the suggestion of a “different approach” by the Commonwealth, Riza said the government was “very much engaged” with the international body, and that Baird’s was “one isolated view” that the Maldives Foreign Ministry would look into.

“We met with several [international] authorities while in Geneva and the Maldives is not much of a concern [to them]. They welcome the work the government is doing regarding human rights and development,” Riza said.

According to tourism statistics 2243 Canadian tourists had visited the Maldives as of June this year, an increase of 4.5 percent on the same period last year.

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43 thoughts on “Canada condemns Maldives govt’s “politically motivated threats to arrest its opponents””

  1. Politically-motivated prosecution should be condemned and should have been condemned at the very outset of our democracy.

    In 2008 Nasheed made a heartening proclamation after assuming the Presidency. That he would not pursue the path of vengeance against his rivals. This promise turned to dust as, for yet unknown reasons, Nasheed began to force the state apparatus to press politically-motivated charges against his rivals. Due to the refusal of the Prosecutor-General and Police to follow up on some of these charges, Nasheed illegally used the military and select personnel in the police service to unlawfully arrest and detain two opposition leaders. Where was the international community then? What can we do about the fact that Nasheed has been robbed of all moral authority based upon which he can demand that he not be treated in the way that he treated each and every one of his rivals.

    Also, Minivan should make it clear to the reader whether the calls in this article have been made by the Canadian Foreign Minister in his own personal capacity or as an official stand of the Canadian Government.

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  2. At least one international country has the guts to stand up against coup regime in Maldives!

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  3. common President Nasheed is not the person tsk tsk is trying to portray all his life.. its a futile attempt.. President Nasheed's record in 3 years is all good

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  4. Hei Kutti, An illegal government will not get as much support as International community would give to a legal one. Just watch Nasheed will not get charged. You all think the international community is not observing you ? heh. Let me laugh!

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  5. @tsk tskSince when does a Foreign Minister of a country issue statements in thier personal capacity?

    As for your comments, its a tragedy that a human being can get so disconnected from reality and the pulse of the nation. Once upon a time we may have been sucked in by the blatant distortion of the truth in your writing. But, its not happening, you are just exposing yourself as a representative of those who oppress us.
    Its quite sad really, to see your desperation. Wake up, wake up. We have.

    We All know why those two people were arrested, we have heard the conversations of "I want some cash....."

    As for the judge, what can I say? the courts are rejecting the authority of the watchdog of the judiciary system. What a joke.

    30 years of rule and a judiciary that is the laughing stock of the world.

    Well done, Gayoom

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  6. After hearing Anni's phone call supporting violence and terror, I had enough of MDP... Resigning from MDP tomorrow...

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  7. "Fight back" means stand your ground, not murder an innocent policeman! Anni had the chance to do that on 7h february but he refused. Ludicrous to put blood on his hands by pure supposition.. What do you expect from a brutal dictatorship with their criminal past.

    Clearly, the civilised world can now see the corruption and chaos of our beautiful but sad country since the illegal coup. We are inches away from becoming the next Fiji.

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  8. can somebody translate Anni's leaked phone call to this minister? maybe put subtitles like that wedding?

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  9. @tsk tsk (Dunya)
    The judge was in his post illegally and we all know it. Unqualified, incompetent and totally corrupt. Not protecting society, but protecting his paymasters. You proudly defend a divisive man who defends paedophiles and murderers and call it "the constitution".

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  10. @ Ahmed

    Agree with you. Have you heard of any country where the High Court can tell its own watch dog what it can and can't do?

    If the Judicial Services Commission cannot hold this Judge accountable, what institution can? And how can the High Court order not to take action against this corrupt judge be anything but a violation of the constitution whicg stipulates that the Judicial Services Commission is the constitutional body to regulate the judges and justice system? We have the executive saying they will not intefere in the judiciary.

    So its really up to parliament now to hold an investigation on this corrupt judge. Its time they did that and he was taken out of the justice system permanently.

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  11. This is just insane

    Mohamed Nasheed the "first" democratically elected leader? puke on that!

    He was elected during Maumoon Abdul Gayooms regime, and Maumoon never conducted any democratic elections and Mohamed Nasheed came to power on Gasim Ibrahims bribes, and Nasheed appointed Gasim Ibrahim as his first home minister in return.

    Yes the Judiciary of Maldives has a big problem, the supreme court of Maldives was appointed in August 2010, Members whose name were sent by Mohamed Nasheed, who is locally famed for sex fueled drug parties.

    During the last 3 years, he ran a campaign called "thihineh nukiyene" "you cannot say that", where anyone who said anything against the government was beaten by his thugs, who were released from prison under second chance programme, around 1200 to 2000 hard core criminal animals.

    and if he dint like anyone he would generally kidnap them and put them in isolated islands such as girifushi, for example the judge, it is well known that similarly he kidnapped many young women from islands.

    We have gone through 4 dictators, to have more dictators, Maldives has never had a democratic government nor a democratic president, just rannamaari after rannaamari.

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  12. @Saleem @Waheed

    Please tell me a country or a law anywhere in the WORLD where a judicial Service Commission or any other body is above the law? or a country where the interpretation of laws does not lay within the courts?

    and wasnt it mohamed nasheed who appointed the 7 supreme court justices in august 2010? what a joke!

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  13. http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2011/53.html

    http://www.freedomunderlaw.org/?p=114

    One of the few places where there exists a judicial service commission is South Africa and that link which i just pasted is that of the South African courts invalidating a decision of their watchdog the judicial service commission.

    Please run around smelling Anni's ass of ignorance all you like, but what retards , the society will never develop if the people dont develop.

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  14. Thank you, John Baird. It is time Canada spoke up against this travesty that occurred in Maldives.

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  15. By issuing an ill adivsed statement like this Mr.Baird has gotten himself entangled in the petty political squabbles of a gang of thugs loyal to two seemingly political figures ie Mohamed Nasheed and Maumoon Gayoom.

    Someone ought to enlighten Mr. Baird on petty politics of small island states run by small time thugs and cult leaders.

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  16. I don't know how to thank enough for the Canadian Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr John Baird. I am sure there are so many other countries feeling the same way about the Maldives and its citizens. May Allah bless the Maldives with a free and fair election before end of 2012. Amen!!

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  17. tsk tsk This looks very much official.

    http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4848/48455419188231760845719.jpg

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  18. Who cares if Canada government condemns what we do.
    This is our country and we will run this place the way we want. Who is Canada to tell us what to do and what not to do.

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  19. no matter what MDP thugs try to twist the reality and one day the truth will be seen by the international community.

    We had the best democracy in 2008 just before Anni became the President . Since Anni took over the office, we have started seen moving into more of dictatorship.

    Maumoon 29 years was autocratic regime but he gave lot of freedom in hist last two years.

    Both Nasheed and Maumoon are dictators and corrupt and both had use the public money to self promote.

    Both of them had robbed this country and both had a similar attitudes.

    Anni is gene worse since he does not know that the new constitution does not allow him to rule the country like Gayoom regime .

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  20. @tsk tsk on Mon, 30th Jul 2012 4:32 PM

    "Also, Minivan should make it clear to the reader whether the calls in this article have been made by the Canadian Foreign Minister in his own personal capacity or as an official stand of the Canadian Government."

    Oh dear! Are you faculties in full working order? When was the last time you heard ANY foreign minister using such language in a "personal capacity"?

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  21. Since when did "being elected democratically" became a license to break the law and Constitution?

    Is the Hon Foreign Minister of Canada saying that since Nasheed was "democratically elected", he should not be charged for his criminal offenses just because he was elected democratically?

    Prez Nixon was elected elected democratically as the President of USA but he was also impeached when he broke the law.

    Former US President Clinton was nearly impeached for "lying" to the grand jury.

    Nobody is above the law irrespective of past position. Nasheed is no exception.

    Nasheed won the election with coalition support who are now against him making Nasheed & MDP the sole opposition with less than 20% support in the Country.

    Canada & other countries need to understand that Nasheed is not just unpopular but really despised by the majority of Maldivians for a variety of reasons. Number one being his attitude towards Islam followed by his erratic style of government which habitually broke the laws & Constituion of the Country.

    What Nasheed has is a committed western PR machine which keeps on building the hype about him in the western media. This hype has nothing to do with reality on the ground in Maldives.

    The two hundred odd demonstrators that come out to confront Police every night do so to keep feeding the media photos & video to make it look like huge demonstrations etc. Pure Gas!

    By taking sides so openly in support of Nasheed even before the Commision of National Inquiry has finished their work (to assess whether Nasheed was ousted in a coup) , Canada is making a huge mistake. Wonder what the motive could be! Just listen to the ordinary people on streets. They have a theory on this!

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  22. Ahmed, please refer to the bizarre anti-government diatribes of a certain Dr.Shaheed on various social media outlets.

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  23. Canada needs to address this issue in NATO as a member and a lager financial stakeholder, so the whole world issue arrest warrants for those thugs in suites calling themselves governament officials,,,There is no escape now, the coup regime lead by Traitor Dr Waheed just announced that free health scheme is no more free!!!!
    who are these people really?? I mean who decides a political suicide of this magnitude???
    in the us, Obama was about to be empeached if his bill was not running,!!

    pleeeees!!!
    intimedations, arrests,or kidnapping are seen now not in Nasheed's time, so pls look though this thick glass!!

    Nasheed's only mistake is that he is a civilized president born in uncivilised society!!
    he choose "devolopment now" forget the past!!
    but the past was an old dark black hitlerized snake, if you don't cut the head, it will never die out!!
    Maamoon n his bey bey iinsaaf (unjust) , infidel, brutal, and inhumane tricks can't work now, the world is awaiting for a mistake by Trator Dr Waheed n his Pirates, n OOoops! they just summoned Nasheed to an investigation over a fabricated prank call!! so theatrical ey!!

    round 2 ...,,,,,(don't say fight)!!!

    cheers!!

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  24. He will have to fight to the last minute when the coup leaders are using brutal force and undemocratic practices with the connivance of rogue judiciary. But he will never used violence against a fellow Maldivian unlike the members of former regime and he shall tirelessly work towards fulfilling his election manifesto.

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  25. @Addu:

    My mistake, I have read the Foreign Affairs Ministers statement and understand that it comes with the backing of the entire government apparatus.

    Just shocked that such a one-sided statement would be issued by any government.

    Of course, at the same time, I also believe that it is counterproductive to delay talks and continue confrontations.

    However any balanced statement must note that Nasheed and his supporters intentionally break the law in front of the common citizen every day in this country. I understand that this is being done to pressure the government and increase their bargaining position.

    However any end to confrontations must also recognize the importance of re-establishing the rule of law in this country. Nasheed slipped up in arresting Maldivian citizens outside the law. How are we to square the aspiration to "democratic values" and "social justice" if we must at the same time overlook serious violations of the law if they are committed by "the first democratically elected leader".

    Is this a standard across the world? Are all first democratically elected leaders exempt from the law?

    I tire of this argument, however the international community must also recognize that skewing their statements in favor of Nasheed only threatens to alienate a large section of Maldivian society and drive them into the arms of anti-Western agitators of which there are plenty in this country.

    All shades of thought must be accommodated if we are to move forward. The MDP must stop making public statements promising to imprison/torture/murder/execute their political opposition if they come to power. A way must be found to condemn Nasheed's violations of the constitution without landing the poor guy in prison. Also the current administration must stop using the security forces to intimidate the opposition while at the same time getting the opposition to stay within the confines of the law.

    I fear these questions must be answered by our political leaders. Any engagement by the international community must be supportive rather than divisive. India has played a better role than several of the Commonwealth officials through this whole fiasco.

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  26. Hey bro tsk tsk

    "Nasheed began to force the state apparatus to press politically-motivated charges against his rivals."?

    I don't know what you're smoking, but I dont want any of it.

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  27. On the subject of breaking the law, may I ask what law?

    Actually this is as a good time as any to call for our constitution to be rewritten. the constitution was passed with representatives of president Gayoom voting for it. That in itself makes it null and void. the present Parliament should move to appoint a committe to rewrite the constitution and the laws that support that

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  28. @insane. another child left behind. you dont make any sense. now go and worship yo maumoon idol

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  29. F^*k Maldivian Drug Party ( MNP ) all members of MDP belongs to raw jewish ( so local people call them dhivehi yahoodheen )you cannot do anything to my nation f^*k canada

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  30. According to the law, in letter but in spirit, a rogue judge can dish out sentences on innocent people and the police in turn can put them behind bars just because that is politically convenient to silence the opposition.So law can be really nasty if that is used as cover to commit crimes against people with impunity.

    President Nasheed arrested certain elements when they crossed the point of healthy political rivalry and indulged in creating mischief and inciting sedition against the democratically elected government. As President what else could he do. Watch and stay aghast indefinitely? NO. He had to do something to protect the system and establishment being hijacked and democracy being strangled.The so called lawyers of "high" standing have bartered their conscience to the financial benefits that accrue from doing so. Greed never leads to peace.

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  31. @Ilyas Ahmed

    Just read what you have written, Ilyas. Listen to yourself. To what depths of darkness you have fallen when you can be so blinded.

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  32. @boduthakurufaan

    So here we go, racist comments... where DOES this anti jewish stuff come from? Surely not the Quraan. For to be a muslim we HAVE to acknowledge the existence of ALL the prophets sent by Allah and RESPECT all religions.

    Atleast that's is what I was taught as a child and that is what I believe. So I am really confused by this islam that is being preached to us where the leaders are teaching us to hate jews.

    Who are these leaders and who do they represent?

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  33. @boduthakurufaan

    I hope you have told Dr Waheed what you think of him bringing a Public Relations company owned by a jew who has committed his life to the upliftment of the jewish people and who has hosted a meeting to promote a film that was blatantly anti islamic.

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  34. When I think, time for this rebel government that trying to calm down people, by threats and beating is passed!

    It is obvious they are on the path to cannibalism and murder!

    I hear in the grapevine that one MP who is an ardent enemy of the "SO" tentacle of the people who have sworn by Allah the Almighty, to "PROTECT AND SERVE" the people of Maldives (the POLICE), was bitten!!!!!

    I never knew that cannibalism protected and served anyone except fulfillment of their pleasures and appetite!

    The people of Maldives have seen enough of what happened and what is happening!

    It is needless for anyone to say the Parliament and Judiciary of this country is in SHAMBLES and in the belly of an extra ordinary species of man kind!

    The people to who reigns of Parliament and Justice are given, have failed, and they are a 100% deeply dug in the coup!
    They are corrupt to the hilt!

    Sweet talk and work of some people commenting here can only quench their own thirst. But it will not, and can never erase what took place and how it took place on the 7th of February 2012!

    It is pathetic that a people who can walk proudly in freedom are down on their knees, bowing to an illusion and struggling this much in dirt and filth!

    A solution that can be had easily is there at reach, but the many who are afraid of what they did, cannot extend their hands to reach it!

    Patriots should come out of their hiding to serve this nation as needed!

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  35. yuor statement that you should know maldives i indipendent country
    maldive is having independent judiciary
    nashee had varrest the criminal court judge if any criminal cort case on going the court order not go out side male is common procedure you should gothrough maldivies Constitution what a democracy you know

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  36. at his 5 yers in 3 yers how many political leaders he was rested on his order commending abudullah yaamin qaasim ibrahim and manymore
    i thik the minister shoud go for mor information what a darty game is this?

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  37. correction Illegal arrested chief judge of the criminal court if look at free and fear hon minister you probably understand and you dont have any responsibilities international community to keep a ewes breaf against independent Maldives who are you

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  38. If it isn't clear now what the Commonwealth Action Group really is, then it will never be.

    'Democracy and human rights'??

    From an arbitrary power group consisting of various Zionists and their supporters? Really?

    The funny thing is they don't even bother with a justification for such a stupid claim...

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