US concerned over sentencing of former Maldivian president

Expressing concern over apparent lack of appropriate criminal procedures during the trial in Maldives against former president Mohamed Nasheed, the US has urged the government to ensure his safety and wellbeing in custody.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 14, 2015, 07:50 AM IST

Washington: Expressing concern over apparent lack of appropriate criminal procedures during the trial in Maldives against former president Mohamed Nasheed, the US has urged the government to ensure his safety and wellbeing in custody.

"The United States is concerned with the apparent lack of appropriate criminal procedures during the trial in Maldives against former president Mohamed Nasheed, who was found guilty today and sentenced to 13 years in prison," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.

"We are particularly troubled by reports that the trial was conducted in a manner contrary to Maldivian law and Maldives' international obligations to provide the minimum fair trial guarantees and other protections under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), she said.

"This includes the denial of legal representation to ex-president Nasheed during the first hearing and concerns regarding the lack of impartiality and independence of the judges," she added.

The US called on the government of Maldives to take steps to restore confidence in its commitment to democracy and the rule of law, including judicial independence and to ensure fundamental rights are respected including the freedom of speech and of the press as well as the right to peaceful assembly and peaceful protest.

"We urge the government to ensure Nasheed's safety and wellbeing in custody, and we hope all Maldivians will express their views peacefully," Psaki said.