Statement Delivered by President Mohamed Nasheed’s Daughter at the UN Human Rights Council

Thank you Mr. President.

My name is Meera Nasheed, and I am pleased to speak on behalf of Freedom Now – an NGO that supports and works to free prisoners of conscience around the world – about the report of the working group on the UPR of the Maldives.

My father, Mohamed Nasheed, former president of Maldives, was imprisoned by the Maldivian government on fabricated charges of “terrorism”. He is the first democratically elected Pesident of the Maldives. Although I know him as my tenacious and also brilliant father, who has tirelessly risked the majority of his life trying to establish basic human rights in our country.

My father is also one of my best friends, whose humour and gentle spirit is dearly missed. We worry for his safety, and hope to have him back by our side soon.

Not only was my father’s prosecution politically-motivated but there were shocking violations of due process throughout his case in a corrupt court system. Amnesty international described his trial as a ‘travesty of justice’.

The government continues to support this gross infringement of justice along with the cases of about two dozen other political prisoners, and some 1,700 people facing legal charges for their peaceful political activism.

Several world leaders and officials have called for my father’s immediate release, including: the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the U. S. Secretary of State, the British Prime Minister, and the European parliament.

The government has hired a British lawyer, Cherie Blair, to represent it at the UN working group on arbitrary detention. We expect the working group to issue an independent and impartial judgment on my father’s case soon.

Because the government has fully engaged in the process, we expect it to fully abide by the working group’s recommendations.

Thank you Mr. President