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US, UK condemn Nazim’s 1000-day detention

Maldives former defence minister was found guilty of weapons smuggling in 2015 and sentenced to 11 years in prison, but a UN rights panel found he was not afforded a fair trial.



The detention of former Maldives defence minister Mohamed Nazim, who has been behind bars for 1,000 days, has been condemned by the US and the UK.

Nazim was found guilty of weapons smuggling in 2015 and sentenced to 11 years in prison. A UN rights panel found that Nazim was not afforded a fair trial and backed the retired colonel’s assertion that the police had framed him in the troubled honeymoon destination.

On Tuesday, the US and UK’s top diplomats in Colombo decried Nazim’s incarceration, taking to Twitter to express their concerns after his family denounced the justice system.

“1000 days into his ordeal, when will Colonel Nazim benefit from the impartial and fair application of evidence-based justice and rule of law?” asked US Ambassador Atul Keshap.

In January the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention urged authorities to immediately release him but they rejected the non-binding judgement.

UK Ambassador James Dauris said Nazim’s rights were “pressing” after more than 1,000 days in detention, referring to the UNWGAD ruling.

Nazim was taken back to jail on June 30 after spending Ramadan under house imprisonment.

He has long claimed that rogue policemen framed him on the orders of then-tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb. They raided his home and left a bag containing a pistol and bullets in his bedroom, he said.

“1000 days since Colonel Nazim was framed and unjustly jailed. We will free Colonel Nazim.”