Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Maldives: Maldivian Democratic Party Condemns Politically Motivated Charges Against Former President

SOURCE Maldivian Democratic Party

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) strongly condemns the regime of Dr. Mohamed Waheed for instigating politically motivated charges against former President Nasheed in an apparent attempt to prevent him standing in the next general election.

The Prosecutor General of the Maldives said Sunday that the state would put Nasheed on trial for the arrest of Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed in January.

Mohamed, a judge appointed under the 30 year reign of former President Gayoom, was accused of corruption, abuse of office and, in one case, ordering a child to re-enact sexual abuse in open court in front of the accused.

Mohamed was also accused of the politically-motivated release of a murder suspect, who committed homicide shortly after his release from prison by Mohamed.

Mohamed was detained by the military in January after he quashed his own police arrest warrant, and used his position on the bench to halt an official investigation into his misconduct

"The charges against former President Nasheed are politically motivated and aimed solely at trying to remove him from politics," said MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor. "The judiciary in the Maldives is rotten to the core, and remains filled with hand picked Judges who are remnants of the Gayoom dictatorship. Everybody in the Maldives, including President Waheed, knows the Judiciary branch is simply incapable of delivering a fair trial, particularly in a case as politically loaded as this. President Waheed is hiding behind the veneer of an independent judiciary to wage a campaign of intimidation against his political opponents."

Ghafoor continues, "Since he assumed office in a coup in February, Waheed has arrested over 650 pro-democracy activists, his regime has been condemned by Amnesty International for persistent human rights violations, and Reporters Without Borders accuse him of eroding press freedoms. As part of its campaign of police intimidation, the regime has also arrested numerous witnesses, including members of Parliament and the Police Chief of Intelligence, who have been called to testify to the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI), the body tasked with investigating the transfer of power following the police and military coup d'etat on February 7. Now Waheed is using allies in the judiciary to silence his political opponents. The Maldives is starting to resemble a police state."

The Commonwealth and the European Union have called for fresh elections in the Maldives in 2012.

On June 27, former President Nasheed received the James Lawson Award, in Boston, Mass., recognizing his leadership during years of nonviolent opposition to dictatorship in his country, his courage in the face of an armed coup earlier this year which forced him from power, and his renewed nonviolent action on behalf of restoring genuine democracy in his country.

On July 14, President Nasheed was pepper sprayed in the eyes by police at a peaceful protest in the capital, Male. See video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb4l1zzZR14