April 7, Malé, The Maldives – Today, Mohamed Nasheed, former President of the Maldives, announced his international legal team to represent him with regards to his ongoing arbitrary detention. The team includes Jared Genser, founder of Freedom Now and an expert at freeing prisoners of conscience who has represented such clients as Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Aung San Suu Kyi and Liu Xiaobo; Ben Emmerson QC, a barrister at Matrix Chambers and expert in international human rights law who is currently the British judge on the Residual Mechanism of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; and Amal Clooney, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and expert in international human rights law who has served as a senior advisor to Kofi Annan when he was the UN Envoy on Syria, as counsel to the UN Inquiry on the use of armed drones and as counsel to political prisoners Yulia Tymoshenko, former Prime Minister of Ukraine, and Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy.
More detailed biographies of the legal team are below.
“I am very pleased to have such an extraordinary team agree to take up my legal defense internationally,” said President Nasheed. “I am determined to ensure the world understands the injustice of my detention and the broader suffering of the Maldivian people under President Abdulla Yameen,” he added.
President Nasheed was subjected to a politically motivated prosecution which led to his conviction on March 13, 2015 for the crime of “terrorism” and a sentence of 13 years in prison. His supposed crime was allegedly ordering the brief detention of a judge back in 2012, which he denies. The Prevention of Terrorism Act, under which he was convicted, is clearly not applicable on any rational basis to his alleged conduct. Beyond that, there were also an extraordinary number of due process abuses in his case as has been recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, the U.S. State Department, the UK Foreign Office, the European Union, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and Amnesty International, among many others.
Biographies of President Nasheed Mohamed Legal Team
Jared Genser is founder of Freedom Now, a non-governmental organization that works to free prisoners of conscience worldwide. In addition, he is an Associate of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University, Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and a columnist for The Diplomat, a current affairs magazine focused on the Asia-Pacific. Previously, Genser was a partner in the government affairs practice of DLA Piper LLP and a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. His pro bono clients have included former Czech Republic President Václav Havel and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Liu Xiaobo, Desmond Tutu, and Elie Wiesel. He is author of The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Commentary and Guide to Practice (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming 2015). In addition, he is co-editor of The UN Security Council in the Age of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press) and The Responsibility to Protect: The Promise of Stopping Mass Atrocities in Our Times (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Ben Emmerson QC, is an international lawyer specialising in public international law, international criminal law, and international human rights law. In June 2011, he was elected by the UN Human Rights Council as UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights. He was a founding member of Matrix Chambers and has 25 years’ experience litigating before international courts and tribunals, including the International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights, European Court of Justice, and International Criminal Court, among others. He is currently the British judge on the Residual Mechanism of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Within the United Kingdom, he is a deputy High Court Judge, a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple, and an Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford. He is co-author of Human Rights and Criminal Justice (Sweet & Maxwell, #rd Ed., 2013).
Amal Clooney is a barrister with Doughty Street Chambers who specialises in public international law, international criminal law, and international human rights law. She has represented clients before the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, European Court of Human Rights, as well as domestic courts in the United Kingdom and United States. She was a senior advisor to Kofi Annan when he served as the UN Envoy on Syria, counsel to the UN Inquiry on the use of armed drones led by the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, and legal advisor to the head of the UN commission investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri. She was recently appointed to the UK Attorney General’s expert panel set up to advise and represent the UK government in cases involving public international law. She is currently a visiting professor at Columbia Law School and a senior fellow with its Human Rights Institute. She is also co-author of the book The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2016.