Maldives: 13 year sentence for former president ‘a travesty of justice’

Photo: Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed.  © Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

The conviction of Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives on terrorism charges after a deeply flawed and politically motivated trial is a travesty of justice, said Amnesty International.

“Amnesty International condemns the conviction of Mohamed Nasheed to 13 years in jail by judges who were state witnesses during an earlier investigation of this case. This trial has been flawed from start to finish, and the conviction is unsound” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.

“Rather than responding to international calls to strengthen the impartiality of the judiciary the government of the Maldives has proceeded with this sham trial for political reasons”.

Mohamed Nasheed was arrested on terrorism charges on 22 February for the alleged unlawful arrest in January 2012 of the then Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, when he was president. He was denied access to a lawyer at the start of his trial, and even when he was allowed legal representation the lawyers were not given enough time to prepare his defence. Two of the three judges assigned to his case were the very ones who had acted as state witnesses against him during the investigation.