President Mohamed Nasheed Arrested and Re-prosecuted Under Terrorism Charges

President Mohamed Nasheed was arrested by the Maldives Police Service on 22nd February 2015 at approximately 2.30 pm at his private home.

The arrest warrant issued by the Maldives Criminal Court was signed by Judge Abdul Bari Yoosuf on 22nd February at 12:30 pm.

The arrest warrant stated, “reason for arrest: above mentioned person (Mohamed Nasheed) may not attend court hearings regarding terrorism charges filed by the State and that he may flee”

The warrant also stated “evidence to support arrest: What transpired during court proceedings at Hulhumale Magistrate court and police intelligence report.”

After a delay of 1 year and 9 months, the regime of President Yameen restarted a trial against President Nasheed, on 3rd February 2015.

The Prosecutor General withdrew these charges levied against President Nasheed on 16th February. It is deeply concerning that after having withdrawn these charges the Prosecutor General is now re-prosecuting President Nasheed under trumped up charges of terrorism. On 18th February 2015, President Nasheed’s legal team in a letter to the Prosecutor General called upon the PG to not re-prosecute him.

The resumption of President Nasheed’s trial comes after weeks of state sponsored intimidation against political opponents.

There is little hope President Nasheed can be afforded anything approaching a fair trial.

The United Nations, European Union and the Commonwealth have all expressed concern over the politicisation of the Maldivian judiciary. UN Special Rapporteur for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela said Maldives judiciary is subject “to all sorts of external influence and has consequently been unable to function properly”.

MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said: “This politically motivated arrest is a desperate and reckless attempt by President Yameen to cling onto power in the face of growing opposition to his autocratic rule. President Yameen, who came to power through a stolen election, feels his grip on power weakening as his coalition falls apart and is resorting to increasingly authoritarian tactics”

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