Falsehoods Stated by Maldives’ Foreign Minister

The Office of President Nasheed notes with regret the blatant falsehoods stated today, Tuesday 24 February, by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon.

The Foreign Minister, in a statement released on Tuesday, said that President Nasheed was given access to legal counsel as per normal legal procedure. This is untrue.

President Nasheed was taken to court on Monday 23 February, approximately 26 hours after he was arrested. The law states detainees must be brought before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest. During this hearing, the judges commenced President Nasheed’s trial for alleged terrorism. During the hearing, President Nasheed specifically requested access to a lawyer but the court refused this request.
The judge continued with the hearing, violating President Nasheed’s fundamental right to legal counsel.

The Judge also criticised President Nasheed for appearing late and disheveled at the hearing even though he was clearly hurt, which was caused by Police officers who manhandled him as they forcefully dragged him into the court.

The Office of President Nasheed further notes that President Nasheed was not given timely and adequate medical attention despite repeated requests in court on Monday. He was finally transported from Dhoonidhoo Detention Centre to a private clinic in Male’ on Tuesday afternoon. His family and his legal team were not informed of this visit. The Police blockaded the area around the clinic.

President Nasheed’s legal team notes that Police obstruction of access to President Nasheed hinders his right to build a defence. The Office of President Nasheed calls on the authorities to ensure the right to due process, as enshrined by the Constitution and reiterated by members of the international community.

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