Maldives denies reports Nasheed met President Sirisena

Maithripala NasheedThe Maldives Government has denied reports former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed met President Maithripala Sirisena before leaving for the UK to undergo medical treatment.

A Maldives Government spokesman said that a photograph appearing on some Maldivian websites and social media showing Nasheed with Sirisena was an old photograph.

The Sri Lankan Government is said to have been instrumental in securing the release of Nasheed to visit the UK for medical treatment.

The Maldives Foreign Ministry said that Nasheed left the Maldives Monday evening to the UK to undergo medical treatment. Earlier, the former President had requested the Government to grant him permission to travel to the UK for treatment, which the relevant authorities of the Government granted.

Nasheed has signed the standard guarantee document agreeing to return to the Maldives, to serve the remainder of his sentence following the completion of the medical treatment in the United Kingdom. Nasheed’s brother is acting as guarantor during his stay abroad.

The Government of the Maldives noted that the former President is a serving prisoner and must abide by the laws of the Maldives. An appeal against his conviction is pending before the Supreme Court and unless and until the court rules otherwise he is required to serve the remainder of his sentence.

The Government also highlight that it was former President Nasheed himself who requested to undergo surgery in the UK and the Government agreed to accommodate his request.

Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon stated: “It is standard procedure for any prisoner who applies to travel abroad, for medical treatment, to sign a guarantee. All prisoners who have travelled abroad have signed such documents as required by Maldivian law. This rule has been in existence before Mr Nasheed came to office, and has not been introduced in an ad hoc manner. I am glad all relevant legal documentation is completed. Throughout this period the government has acted in good faith. We ask that Mr Nasheed and his representatives in turn abide by the agreement signed and agreed today. These are standard requirements in line with international norms”. (Colombo Gazette)