Nasheed prevented from leaving Male

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has termed as “politically motivated” an order by a Maldives court preventing former Maldives President Mohammad Nasheed from leaving the capital.

In a notice to the defendant issued on Tuesday evening the Hulhumale’ Megistrate Court placed Nasheed under Male’ arrest, which means he cannot leave the capital island, or the country, without the Court’s prior permission.

“This detention is politically motivated, aimed solely at preventing President Nasheed from campaigning ahead of next year’s elections” said MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Gafoor.

Nasheed was due to visit the southern atolls as part of the MDP’s preparations for those elections.

“At a time when President Waheed is lobbying the Commonwealth to remove the Maldives from its human rights watch-list, his regime has detained the leader of the opposition.”

“Waheed likes to hide behind the fig leaf of judicial independence, but the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International and other NGOs have highlighted that the judiciary is bias and effectively controlled by elements in the regime.”

Waheed’s Home Minister, Mohamed Jameel, has consistently said Nasheed will be the “first former Maldivian president to spend the rest of his life behind bars.”  Hamid said that the Government appeared keen to make good on that pledge.

“The regime fears Nasheed will win an election. So they plan to convict him of something so they can prevent him from standing. They know their grip on power is dependent on removing Nasheed from the political equation.”