MDP Strongly Condemns Arrest of Senior Opposition Figure Adam Azim, Calls for His Immediate Release

8 June 2017, Male’: Just one day after the United Nations Human Rights Council severely criticised the Maldives’ human rights record, President Yameen has had senior opposition member, and Maldives United Opposition Shadow Minister, arrested.

Police arrested Adam Azim from his home on Thursday morning on charges of “inciting to overthrow the government, to defame the government,” and stating that he “might work to tamper with evidence of such.” The arrest was allegedly based on a secret police ‘intelligence report.’

The arrest warrant was signed by notorious Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdul Bari Yoosuf. Bari signed the warrant at 2am on 8 June.

Judge Bari also presided over the sentencing of President Nasheed on terror charges in 2015, and the sentencing of President Yameen’s former Defense Minister, Colonel Mohamed Nazim, on terror charges in 2015. He was also the sole judge in the sentencing of Sheikh Imran, leader of the Adhaalath Party, in February 2016.

Adam Azim, younger brother of the jailed former Defense Minister, Col (Rtd) Mohamed Nazim, has been working tirelessly on both domestic and international campaign to free Col (Rtd) Mohamed Nazim, and is a stanch critic of President Yameen and his regime’s appalling human rights record.

On Wednesday, the Maldives faced unprecedented censure at the United Nations Human Rights Council, and was placed on the Council’s agenda. More than 30 countries called on the Maldives to investigate thoroughly the death of the prominent blogger Yameen Rasheed, to take steps to prevent the intimidation of human rights defenders including by those promoting violent extremism, to ensure an independent judiciary, and to guarantee space for activists and the political opposition.

Adam Azim’s arrest, on blatantly trumped-up charges, demonstrates once again President Yameen’s refusal to return to the path of democracy and good governance, and his obstinacy in the face of international criticism.

The MDP calls on President Yameen to immediately release of Adam Azim, and to refrain from violating the spirit of the Holy month of Ramadan.