Condemning the imprisonment of former president Mohamed Nasheed, the US Secretary of State John Kerry said democracy is under threat in the Maldives.
“We’ve seen even now how regrettably there are troubling signs that democracy is under threat in the Maldives where the former president Nasheed has been imprisoned without due process,” Kerry told the press in Sri Lanka today.
“This is an injustice that needs to be addressed soon.”
"..PNasheed has been imprisoned without due process.That is an injustice that must be addressed soon"John Kerry, 2May pic.twitter.com/LZkzRKmr8Z
— Eva Abdulla (@evattey) May 2, 2015
Kerry’s remarks come after nearly 200 protesters were arrested during clashes on Friday after a historic antigovernment protest over Nasheed’s imprisonment.
Nasheed’s wife Laila Ali had met with Kerry in Washington DC shortly before his visit to Sri Lanka.
— Ahmed Mahloof (@AhmedMahloof) May 1, 2015
Laila and Nasheed’s international legal team on Thursday lodged a petition with the UN’s working group on arbitrary detention requesting a judgment declaring the opposition leader’s detention illegal and arbitrary.
The UN human rights office yesterday said Nasheed’s trial was “vastly unfair, arbitrary and disproportionate.”
Briefing the press in Geneva, Mona Rishmawi, the head of the rule of law, equality and non-discrimination branch, said Nasheed’s 19-day trial was politically motivated and was reached by judges wielding “incredible discretionary powers.”
Meanwhile, the European parliament passed a resolution on Thursday urging the government to release Nasheed immediately.
However, the government remains defiant, with the foreign minister saying President Abdulla Yameen’s government will not comply with demands from foreign governments to “meddle” in judicial affairs and release a convict.
In an interview with state broadcaster TVM, Dunya Maumoon said the Maldives would become “enslaved” and lose its independence if the government accepted such demands.
Foreign government do not wish well for the Maldives, she continued and called on the public to protect the country’s institutions, independence and sovereignty.