David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, has expressed concern over the re-imprisonment of former President Mohamed Nasheed on Sunday.
Cameron urged President Abdulla Yameen to release all political prisoners.
PM on #Maldives: Deeply concerned that ex President Nasheed has been re-imprisoned. We continue to urge release of all political prisoners.
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) August 24, 2015
Nasheed’s lawyers have said his transfer to prison is illegal and arbitrary. His 13 year jail term on a terrorism conviction was commuted to permanent house arrest in writing on July 19. The government, however, claims the document issued to Nasheed is inauthentic and has denied commuting the sentence.
Local rights group, the Maldivian Democracy Network, in a statement on Monday has urged the international community to intervene urgently, expressing grave concern over the re-imprisonment of Nasheed.
Hugo Swire, the UK State Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire also joined in voicing concern.
“The international community has repeatedly made clear its concerns over the conduct of Mr Nasheed’s trial, which was not conducted in a transparent or impartial manner or in accordance with due legal process. The Maldivian government must demonstrate true judicial independence in all court cases and appeals in order to restore faith in the Maldives’ legal system,” he said in a statement.
Further, he urged political dialogue to continue between all stakeholders while calling on the government to facilitate judicial independence “in all court cases and appeals in order to restore faith in the Maldives’ legal system.”
Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Muaz and Media official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not responding to calls at the time of going to press.
On July 31, four members of the US House of Representatives urged Yameen to release Nasheed.
Yameen has slammed foreign interference in domestic politics.
In the face of mounting diplomatic pressure, he sought parliament’s counsel on membership of the Commonwealth.
Following Nasheed’s re-imprisonment, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s national council decided last night to end negotiations with the government to resolve political tension.
In late June, Cameron met with Nasheed’s wife Laila Ali along with members of Nasheed’s international legal team.
The UN working group on arbitrary detention will rule on the legality of Nasheed’s imprisonment in September or October.
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