The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has released a statement saying it will no longer follow any orders given by the courts of the Maldives until the changes proposed by international entities are brought to the Maldivian judicial system.
The party said the decision was reached as to date, they had observed no efforts to improve the judicial system based on the recommendations put forward in reports released by numerous international organizations.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Naseem proposed a motion regarding the matter at the party’s 128th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting Thursday, which was seconded by Former Minister of Environment and Housing Mohamed Aslam.
The motion stated that the party believed the increasing number of arrests and allegations of serious crimes like terrorism against a large number of citizens, parliament members, city councillors, and other elected political leaders were politically motivated. It further stated that this was unjust manipulation of the judiciary by the government to weaken political competition, and an attempt to prevent Nasheed from contesting in the upcoming presidential elections.
The MDP also states that with reference to the reservations put forward by former President Mohamed Nasheed’s legal team on Wednesday, it does not believe any of the existing courts would be able to give Nasheed a fair and just trial.
MDP furthermore intends to go ahead with the trips to the atolls planned to commence on October 1, after the motion was passed unanimously at the NEC meeting.
The Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court has placed Nasheed under island arrest effective from Tuesday, with regard to a case concerning the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed last year.
In reaction to this, MDP has also announced its intention to conduct a nationwide protest on Friday.
A number of international actors, including the UN Human Rights Committee, Amnesty International, European Union and the United States have previously emphasised the importance of judicial reform in the Maldives.