Former Maldives Foreign Minister appeals for father’s release

Former Maldives Foreign Minister and eldest daughter of the former President of the Maldives, Dunya Maumoon, on Wednesday, appealed for her father’s release from imprisonment.

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the former president of Maldives was sentenced to 19 months in prison last week by the present Government for obstruction of justice and for attempting to overthrow a legal Government through a Supreme Court ruling. He was sentenced alongside the two Supreme Court Judges Abdulla Saeed and Ali Hameed for the same accusation.

In a statement Dunya appealed for her “father (to) be moved home given his ill health, age and most importantly the service he rendered to the country.”

“As Muslim and Maldivian families break their fast and prepare to celebrate Eid, my thoughts are with my father alone in his jail cell. A man who served his country for 30 years.  Loved and respected by Maldivians and people across the world.  My thoughts are also with all the families parted and with loved ones in jail because of bitter politics,” her message on Facebook further read.

Though resigned from Government, Dunya continues to call for dialogue and peaceful resolution of the differences of opinion between her father and uncle, Abdulla Yameen.

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is the second former president to be jailed under current President Abdulla Yameen who previously sentenced the first democratically elected President of the Maldives Mohammed Nasheed to imprisonment in 2013.

Nasheed later secured asylum in the UK where he currently resides. The island nation has been facing escalated political turmoil since February this year after a five-member Supreme Court bench ordered the release and retrial of Nasheed and other prisoners, calling their sentences politically motivated. However, Yameen declared a state of emergency and had Gayoom, Saeed and Hameed arrested instead.

Amidst this political turmoil, the Maldives is expected to conduct their general elections in September later this year. (Colombo Gazette)