Reference No: 11/03/2013
5 March 2013
MDP condemns politically-motivated arrest of President Nasheed
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) condemns the politically-motivated arrest of former President Nasheed.
President Nasheed was arrested while walking down the street in Male’ at approximately 13:45 local time today. He was apprehended by numerous armed and masked police officers, who did not identify themselves, nor produce an arrest warrant or court summons. Nasheed’s lawyers were not informed of the arrest, or of any court summons.
President Nasheed was taken to Dhoonidhoo Island detention centre – the facility in which he was tortured during the former regime of Maumoon Gayoom.
Commenting on the arrest, the MDP’s international spokesperson Hamid Abdul Gafoor said: “Once again Dr Waheed has proven that he can’t be trusted to hold a free and fair election – despite his assurances to the international community.
“Nasheed was supposed to be on an election campaign trip but instead he is languishing in jail.
“This arrest comes just days after the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, said the judges overseeing President Nasheed’s case had been appointed “arbitrarily”.
“Dr Waheed, in collusion with his friends in the judiciary, is pulling out all the stops to prevent President Nasheed competing in the elections.”
The UN Special Rapporteur also said that the Judicial Services Commission, which established the court trying President Nasheed, was “politicised” and subject to “external influence”.
Notes to editors:
See the UN Special Rapporteur’s comments on the Judicial Services Commission here: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13047&LangID=E
See the UN Special Rapporteur’s comments on the judges overseeing President Nasheed’s trial here: http://minivannews.com/politics/un-special-rapporteur-criticises-arbitrary-appointment-of-judges-in-nasheed-trial-53746