Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla and MP Faris Maumoon were abruptly taken back to Maafushi jail Saturday after short periods under house arrest.
Imran, who was convicted of terrorism over a speech he gave at the 2015 May Day anti-government protest, was transferred to house arrest on September 21 after his wife gave birth to a son.
The Maldives Correctional Service declined to comment on the reasons for his return to jail. The Islamist party leader was also released to house arrest for Ramadan this year and taken back after Eid.
In July, Imran was taken to a unit designated for inmates convicted of murder and other serious crimes, reportedly as a punishment for giving an interview to Raajje TV in violation of the terms of his house arrest. He was previously kept in a different unit with other jailed politicians.
Faris, who is on trial on separate charges of bribery and identity fraud, was temporarily transferred home on October 11 for repair work on his prison block, the MCS previously said.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed said the move to take the pair back to jail was a sign of President Abdulla Yameen’s “desperation”.
“God willing, Faris and Imran will be free soon,” the opposition leader tweeted.
President of Adhaalath Party, @ShimranAb is being taken back to prison to execute the unjust 12 year sentence for speaking against tyranny.
— Adhaalath Party (@AdhaalathOffice) October 21, 2017
Ethah aharegge inthizarahfahu libunu firihen dharifulha kuda hindhukolhey therey dhurukohggen gendhani, kushaki Dictatorshipah YES nubunun. pic.twitter.com/k3Tp1sE4TY
— Ali Zahir (alipi) (@alixahir) October 21, 2017
“Taking away from a son he got after many years of waiting, the crime is not saying yes to dictatorship”: Adhaalath Party deputy leader.
MP Faris&Sheikh Imran taken to jail immediately after Opposition suggested a common candidate. Reveals what YAG fears most:a united people.
— Eva Abdulla 🎈❓ (@evattey) October 21, 2017
— Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (@maumoonagayoom) October 21, 2017
— Dunya Maumoon (@dunyamaumoon) October 22, 2017
— Maumoon Hameed (@maanhameed) October 21, 2017