Washington: The US Senate has unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the Maldives to rectify the "injustice" meted out to its former president Mohamed Nasheed and all other "political prisoners".
The bipartisan resolution, adopted yesterday, expressed "profound concern over the prosecution and conviction of former President Mohamed Nasheed without due process" and urged the government to "take all necessary steps" to "redress this injustice" and "to release all political prisoners".
The resolution was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy, who is Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programmes, and Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In its resolution, Senate noted that increasing civil rights violations in Maldives fuel instability and pose a threat to regional security. "President Abdulla Yameen of the Maldives has increasingly cracked down on dissent within his own party and the political opposition, presided over the erosion of judicial impartiality, and put increasing pressure on civil society," it said.
Nasheed was allowed to travel to the United Kingdom for medical leave in January under intense international pressure.
At the time, Minister for Legal Affairs Aishath Azima Shakoor told reporters that he would be able to stay abroad for necessary medical treatment and "[i]f he requests extension of medical leave, he will certainly get it."
Yet yesterday, the government of Maldives wrote to President Nasheed rejecting his request for an extension based on medical reports stating he required further treatment for his serious spinal cord issues, said a media release.
"The government of Maldives should see this unanimous Senate resolution for what it is ? a direct rebuke not only to their wrongful prosecution, conviction and sentencing of President Nasheed but also to their arbitrary request for him to return to the country against medical advice," said Jared Genser, international counsel to president Nasheed and founder of Freedom Now.