PPM condemns statement by British MP Fiona Bruce

The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has condemned a statement issued by British MP Fiona Bruce, chairperson of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, in which she urged the international community to consider imposing sanctions on senior Maldivian government officials.

Bruce had called the terrorism trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed a “grotesque travesty of justice.”

Referring to Bruce calling Nasheed “a champion of non-violent, peaceful democracy,” the PPM claimed in a statement released in English last week that the former president had “resorted to violent, unlawful, unconstitutional and undemocratic methods during his regime from 2008 to 2012, including the unlawful ‘abduction and isolation’ of the Criminal Court Chief Judge in 2012.”

“We are further baffled by her baseless allegation that Nasheed was ‘physically mistreated while in custody,'” the statement read.

“We would like to emphasise that he has been fully accorded his rights in line with the constitution and the laws of the Maldives.

“If Chairperson Bruce wants to adhere to her unfounded accusations, we urge her to show proof of any ‘physical mistreatment’ of Nasheed while in custody, not ‘bandwagon’ without basic ‘fact checks.’ We also wish to tell her that, according to the constitution, the government cannot drop the charges against Nasheed, or anyone else.”

The statement added that Nasheed had succeeded former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – the PPM’s leader – “who had ushered in modern liberal democracy in the Maldives, in addition to transforming the country from one of the poorest five countries in the world to a flourishing economy with the highest per capita income in the whole of South Asia.”