3 September 2015
Male’: Two members of former President Nasheed’s international legal team, Amal Clooney and Jared Genser, will travel to the Maldives next week to visit President Nasheed in Maafushi Jail, where he is currently being held. They also plan to hold meetings in Sri Lanka and India following the visit.
Although a member of the legal team was previously refused a business visa, the Government of Maldives has now approved, in writing, business visas for both lawyers.
However, the Maldivian Government has not yet granted the lawyers any meetings with Government officials. The Home Minister and the Foreign Minister have declined to meet Clooney and Genser, while the President, Vice President, Attorney-General and Prosecutor-General have not responded to their request for a meeting.
The Home Minister’s refusal to meet the lawyers is particularly troubling, given the serious concerns that have been raised over President Nasheed’s prison conditions and his health.
Amal Clooney, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers specialising in international law and human rights, has stated that:
“President Nasheed’s unjust imprisonment has led to the largest protest movement in Maldivian history, and protesters have in turn been added to the list of political prisoners in the country. My co-counsel and I will continue to pursue all legal and diplomatic strategies to secure our client’s release, including through the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention”.
Her co-counsel Jared Genser, Founder of Freedom Now, added:
“President Nasheed has been arbitrarily returned to prison after 8 weeks under house arrest. We call on President Yameen to end this injustice, release President Nasheed and allow him to return to public life”.