The UK and the EU have issued statements expressing concern over the arrest of former President Mohamed Nasheed.
“Along with our international partners, we call on the Maldivian authorities to ensure any trial is fair and transparent,” said UK Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt.
“These latest developments underline the need for all parties to resume dialogue and work together to implement the democratic reforms identified by the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) in August. We look forward to peaceful, free and fair elections next year, in which all political parties are able to participate fully,” Burt added.
Meanwhile in Europe, “it is with great concern that the High Representative [of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton] learned about the arrest of former President Nasheed of the Maldives.”
Ashton “recalls the assurances given by the Government of the Maldives as regards the personal safety of Mr Nasheed and his right to a fair trial,” her office stated.
“In view of the importance of the next presidential elections, the High Representative reiterates the need for credible and transparent elections allowing for the full participation of party candidates.”
Former President Mohamed Nasheed has been released from custody following the first hearing of a trial in the Hulhumale Magistrate Court concerning his detention of Chief Criminal Court Judge, Abdulla Mohamed.
The former president and his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have maintained that the charges of detaining Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed are a politically motivated attempt to prevent him from contesting the 2013 election.
“The Prosecutor General’s only objective is to ensure I cannot contest next elections,” said Nasheed, at a rally on Tuesday night following his release from court.
“What is the specific moment during the orchestration of the coup that all political actors were noting as most important? The moment when Abdulla Ghazi (Judge Abdulla Mohamed) was released. The coup d’etat that was brought in this country was made possible because our criminal justice system has failed.”
The US Embassy in Colombo earlier issued a statement urging “all parties to find a way forward that respects Maldivian democratic institutions, the rule of law and the Maldivian constitution, as well as protects human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
“We urge all sides to remain calm, reject the use of violence and to avoid rhetoric that could increase tensions. It is our expectation that former President Nasheed be given every due process that the law allows,” the embassy stated.
“In response to statements that somehow the United States was involved in the detention of former President Nasheed, the Embassy strongly denies that claim,” it added.
“We note that all US law enforcement cooperation [with the Maldives] includes activities that focus on professionalisation and professional development of the police and places special emphasis on the need to adhere to international standards of human rights and the strengthening of democratic institutions and the rule of law.”