President Mohamed Nasheed Announces Plans to Return to the Maldives Following Over Two Years in Exile

October 3, 2018, London — President Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected leader of the Maldives, announced today that he plans to return home to the Maldives after living in exile for two and a half years.

On April 16, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), announced its decision in the case that President Nasheed brought against the Government, demanding that his civil and political rights be restored in the Maldives according to the country’s obligations as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)[1]. In reaching its historic decision, the Committee found President Nasheed’s arrest, trial, conviction, and sentence on pre-textual charges were arbitrary and in violation of his fair trial rights under Article 14 of the ICCPR.

To view the full text of the decision, visit, and to view the official HRC press release, visit

Similarly, on February 1, the Supreme Court of the Maldives reversed President Nasheed’s conviction, as was widely reported in the media. Following this ruling, the authoritarian government of the Maldives deployed the military to occupy the Supreme Court and arrest the Chief Justice, thus in violation of the separation of powers in the country’s Constitution, taking over the country’s highest court.

President Nasheed states, “If we at this juncture try to negotiate an amicable arrangement for my freedom with the now-defunct Supreme Court, it will not further our ambitions for judicial reform in the Maldives. I trust that the Maldives will uphold its obligations under binding international treaties, and to its own people who have loudly exercised their will at the ballot box bringing in a new government in a landslide democratic victory. I plan to return to the Maldives on 1 November.”

[1] The Maldives is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty that is binding on its government under international law. The Human Rights Committee is an 18-member body of independent experts, appointed by member states of the treaty, which evaluates state compliance with the ICCPR.

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