The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) welcomes statements from friends in the international community, calling for the release of former president Mohamed Nasheed and respect for democratic principles in the Maldives.
In recent days, the United States, Canada, United Nations and the European Parliament have all voiced their deep concerns over President Nasheed’s incarceration, and the slide towards authoritarian rule by the regime of President Yameen.
On 3 May, The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated: “The trial and treatment of former president Mohamed Nasheed is appalling. An effective and thorough review of the investigation and legal proceedings is vital to ensure that international and domestic obligations related to fair trials and the rule of law are fully respected. Canada stands with the tens of thousands of peaceful Maldivians from across the country who have congregated to call for the release of political prisoners and the restoration of the rule of law.
On 2 May, during a visit to Sri Lanka, US Secretary of State John Kerry publicly stated: “There are signs – troubling signs that democracy is under threat in Maldives, where former President Nasheed has been imprisoned without due process. And that is an injustice that must be addressed soon.”
On 1 May, after returning from the Maldives, Mona Rishmawi, chief of the rule of law, equality and non-discrimination branch of the U.N. Human Rights Office, said former President Nasheed’s trial had been marked by “flagrant irregularities”.
“We kind of started to get signals that even the government recognises that something went wrong with the process of the trial,” she added.
Rishmawi further suggested that President Yameen should exercise his powers of clemency to free Nasheed.
She said: “We would like to see this translate into concrete political action and see something happening in this case… What is very clear is that the president still has clemency powers.”
On 29 April, the European Parliament passed a resolution on the Maldives condemning what is said was the “increasing tendencies towards authoritarian rule in the Maldives, the crackdown on political opponents and intimidation of media and civil society”.
The European Parliament resolution also demanded former President Nasheed’s immediate release:
“[This parliament] Deplores the serious irregularities in the trial of former president Mohamed Nasheed; insists that he should be immediately released and that, should his conviction be appealed, his rights must be fully respected in line with the Maldives’ international obligations, its own constitution and all internationally recognised fair trial guarantees.”