UK Conservative Party’s human rights body calls for sanctions on Maldives

The UK Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission has called a rushed terrorism trial against former President Mohamed Nasheed a “grotesque travesty of justice,” and urged the international community to consider sanctions against senior government officials.

The opposition leader is accused of ordering the “abduction” of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in 2012. If convicted under the 1990 anti-terrorism laws, he faces a jail term or banishment between ten and 15 years.

The chair of the Conservative Party’s human rights body, MP Fiona Bruce, said Britain and the international community could not afford to remain silent in the face of “such gross injustice.”

“Targeted sanctions against the international assets of senior members of the regime, as well as a boycott of tourist resorts owned by senior members of the regime or their associates, should be seriously considered,” she said in a statement today.

“The Commonwealth should consider suspending the Maldives. We must all do everything we can to ensure that Mohamed Nasheed is freed, democracy is restored and justice is done.”

The Conservative Party has long been an ally of Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), assisting with party building and campaigning.

The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has meanwhile slammed the international community for its alleged “double standards and hypocrisy” over Nasheed’s trial.


Bruce expressed concern over the Criminal Court denying Nasheed legal representation at a first hearing, and the police’s manhandling of the former president when he was brought to court on February 23.

Nasheed appeared in court with his arm in a makeshift sling and requested immediate medical attention and legal counsel.

“I am deeply concerned that he has been physically mistreated while in custody. The images of him being dragged along the ground into court were truly shocking,” she said.

“Mohamed Nasheed is a champion of non-violent, peaceful democracy. Charging him with terrorism is in itself absurd, and blatantly politically-motivated,” she added.

She went on to question the impartiality of the Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhsin and the three judges—Abdulla Didi, Abdul Bari Yoousuf and Sujau Usman—who are overseeing Nasheed’s trial.

“In Mr Nasheed’s trial the prosecutor-general is a former associate of Judge Mohamed, and the lead judge had refused to take disciplinary action against Judge Mohamed as deputy head of the Judicial Services Commission. Another judge faces allegations of bribery and the third has a criminal record. What hope can there possibly be of a fair trial? “

The chairperson called on the government to release Nasheed and engage in political dialogue.

“Today I urge the Government of the Maldives to drop the charges, release Mr Nasheed and engage in a political dialogue to find a peaceful way forward towards the restoration of democracy and respect for human rights.”

Meanwhile, President Abdulla Yameen has declared foreigners must not meddle in domestic affairs, insisting Nasheed’s trial demonstrated the law would be enforced without bias.

In a statement on Thursday, the PPM said “many observers, ‘experts’ and ‘proponents of democratic values’ including many countries and organisations had ignored the many unconstitutional and undemocratic actions of President Nasheed.”

When Judge Abdulla was detained, “only a few organisations released statements condemning this illegal act,” but today “every minor incident in Maldives warrants a statement by some countries and organisations while many serious and deteriorating situations in other countries are ignored,” it added.

The PPM has repeatedly called on the international community to respect Maldives sovereignty and not to undermine its institutions.

Stressing the PPM remained committed to strengthening and consolidating democracy in the Maldives and protecting human rights, the party said it believed “justice should take its course and no man is above the law.”

Local human rights group Maldivian Democracy Network has also highlighted 11 issues of concern with Nasheed’s trial, ranging from alleged witness coaching to Criminal Court’s refusal to provide sufficient time to mount a defence.

The Criminal Court, however, has insisted Nasheed’s legal team had been afforded sufficient time, arguing case documents had been provided three years ago when the former President was charged with arbitrarily detaining Judge Abdulla.

Nasheed’s legal team maintain they require more time to prepare a defence for the new harsher charges of terrorism.

When lawyers quit in protest on March 9, the Criminal Court proceeded without affording Nasheed ten additional days to appoint new lawyers, insisting the former president could appoint lawyers at any time via a phone call.

The Criminal Court is to hear concluding statements tomorrow night. Judges could issue a verdict at their discretion afterwards.

The Commonwealth, EU, Canada, UK, Australia and India have expressed concern over new terror charges against Nasheed, and denial of legal representation and police mistreatment at the trial’s first hearing.

Related to this story

Nasheed trial “not free or fair,” says Maldivian Democracy Network

Foreigners cannot meddle in domestic affairs, declares President Yameen

PPM accuses international community of “double standards and hypocrisy” in Nasheed’s trial

“This is not a court of law. This is injustice,” Nasheed tells the Criminal Court

Global change makers demand a fair trial for Nasheed

Indian Prime Minister Modi cancels Maldives trip

EU, UN join international chorus of concern over Nasheed’s arrest, terrorism trial

Foreign Minister Dunya slams Canada, Commonwealth statements on Nasheed prosecution


18 thoughts on “UK Conservative Party’s human rights body calls for sanctions on Maldives”

  1. India should immediately impose sanctions against the senior members of the present regime or it will bye bye democracy for the next thirty years. NaMo cancelling his visit to Maldives was a good first step.
    Now shut the visa section and stop the export of essential items.
    I have pointed out repeatedly that Maldives survives on cheap imports from India.

  2. i wonder when can have unbiased comments and decisions by the responsible people like Bruce.

    I wonder how they decide that Nasheed was not given access to lawyers .

    I wonder why Bruce has decided that Police had used excessive force to take Nasheed to court after seen a photo graph ? That Photo graph was pre planed Drama that was played by Nasheed and Nasheed said on the local media on the same day that he has got the photo shot that he wanted .

    Nasheed was never forced and he was violently acting and then police had tried to hold on to him to take to the court.

    Only first day this happened and theere after no issues and that day Nasheed "acted" and played the drama to get the photo.

    I wonder where was Bruce when Nasheed locked the supreme court ? May be locking supreme court is legal for them in a democracy society like United Kingdom.

    I wonder where Bruce was when Nasheed arrested President yameen and Gasim in 2012 ?

    I guess Gasim and Yameen, they don't consider as Human Being and in Maldives its only Nasheed and Nasheed.

    If these people do not see those things as violation of human rights and rule of law, then I urge President Yameen not to allow the country to be bullied people like bruce who are biased .

  3. Lies lies and more lies from YAG and co. Boxing themselves into a corner .. yet again. Thanks for giving us pariah status - again. Only some of us elected you in, remember? We can't all be bought and we aren't all pariahs. When will you see sense - peaceful dialogue for this minuscule country of ours is the only way. Or at least try. We are a small country, we can be run efficiently like a company - but ideally not like a mafia money laundering operation, thanks. And companies are made up of human beings remember? Don't make a mockery of our institutions in the name of sovereignty. You have no right to play that card because you really don't love your country even if you con yourself perhaps that you do. Your ego has blinded you. You are willing to destroy your country because of your greed and power.Just face it. Your violence will bounce back on you. Its the way of the world. And remember all things will pass.

  4. Maldives is a prime nation for failure.

    Alll factors are lined up for continuous tripping.

    Most are uneducated and poor. And even those who have had some form of education, are so measly remunerated, they bite every piece of bribe offered. Total isolation in past, has had its toll, making the people turn against each other; jealousy, envy lurks within, and not a single one of them, would offer a helping hand to neighbours or any other fellow Maldivian. Religion hasn't helped; instead had made the people turn off their brains. A few rich business is playing political chess, for their benefit. Every single activist who open his mouth claiming to save the Maldives from tyranny, is protesting why his bank balance isn't incrementing, and would instantly change political affiliation, just as soon as he gets the offer. Any international help would be fought off, vehemently, under the cloud of anti-religion-sentiments, with the explanation given to the public, that the foreign parties are jealous of our nations brotherly spirit and wants to break the religious cohesion. No Maldivian wants to hear the outside world dismisses us, as irrelevant, and wouldn't even include us, in the global statistics reports.

    Can we be saved? My guess is no. Would our children have a decent future? No.

    What's the future for us then?

  5. The international community could crush (economically not with military) Gayoom's band of thieves in a day if they actually cared enough to do something. But they don't.

  6. @MissIndia.
    Hey you are not a person who can talk non sense here.
    Your country is taking your former PM on account of bribes ?

    Your country democracy is for the elite only and task majority of the people lives without clean water, basic health and education.

    40% of the population are illiterate ?

    I remind you GMR will not be allowed to operate our airport no matter what India does to this nation, we will not allow them to set thier foot in our soil.

  7. Why these guys are not calling for sanctions against the Egyptian government? What is happening here is nothing compared to what is happening there. We know the reason, these guy's interest is not wishing goods for Maldives, but to their agent. Otherwise why Maldives, when there are much worse places in the world. I am not a supporter of YAG, but these guys are not genuine, and they will never be genuine, tell me any country where these guys got involved in the name of helping the nation, where there is peace. Nowhere, wherever they got involved it is at a chaos.

  8. Targeted sanctions against officials of the regime will be the most effective way to get them to listen to the international community.

    It will not impact the Maldivian economy but directly affect the very wealthy oligarchs who are in power and destroying the country.

  9. The political chaos in Maldives is reminiscent of the mayhem in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Northern Nigeria. The TV pictures are the same only the countries are different.
    The common denominator to the above troubled states is?????
    Clue, it is the only true religion in the history of mankind beginning with 'I'.
    Even you dim Maldivians should be able to work this out.
    BTW, I am a Hindu woman living in Secular, Democratic, Politically Stable India. Lucky me.

  10. The only relevant 'international community' that matters (and should matter to Maldives) is the USA.

    Greedy Europe is giving nothing to Maldives.

    They are even taxing Maldives exports and squeezing a few thousand dollars with high import duty. So what right does the Europeans and UK have to dictate the terms to Maldives.

    Since Maldives gains nothing, there is nothing to loose from Europe.

  11. @waste of time: That's why I consider them 'enemy combatants'. A few days in Guantanamo 2 will fix'em up.

  12. @who cares..

    "Greedy Europe is giving nothing to Maldives."

    Be careful there. If those "greedy" Europeans stop coming to the Maldives, you'll be on scraping floors for scraps of food pretty soon.

    In case you are so ignorant not to know, Europeans contribute the lions share of your tourism dollars! Food for thought...

  13. It is hard to understand why democratic countries, most obviously India, UK not doing more to restore democracy and rule of law in Maldives? For example, India reckons the Maldives is in its “area of strategic importance”, But India, calmly watching while thugs deliberately making the Maldives a hell hole for pro-democracy movements.

    We are also deeply frustrated into believing that UK is not friend of democracy as some English politicians describe. When an organised gang over throw the first democratically elected government in Maldives, we have not overcome fully the dictatorship, but how can we move forward now with little we have achieved, if our best friends such as India and UK let us in despair? Please help us to overcome this nightmare. Helping Maldives democracy movements should be a moral obligation for you.

  14. Look at those gangsters scared and screeching! No more 'ufalaamajaa' trips to Thaliand for the PPM scum!

  15. Maldivians sold their vote to the highest bidder. Other countries should wait until Maldivian public becomes mature enough to understand between right & wrong and good & evil.


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