US urges Maldives to release ex-president Nasheed to end trial

Disturbed by the recent late- night transfer of former Maldivian President Mohd Nasheed back to prison, the US has urged the government of the island nation to release him and end "politically motivated" trials against him.

AFP| Updated: Aug 26, 2015, 04:48 AM IST

Washington: Disturbed by the recent late- night transfer of former Maldivian President Mohd Nasheed back to prison, the US has urged the government of the island nation to release him and end "politically motivated" trials against him.

"The United States is disturbed by the government of Maldives' recent late-night transfer of former President Nasheed back to prison," State Department Spokesman, John Kirby, told reporters yesterday.

"(Former) President Nasheed is serving a sentence imposed after a trial that 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," he claimed.

"We renew our call on the government of Maldives to release former President Nasheed, end politically motivated trials and 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, press and peaceful assembly," Kirby said.

Calling on the government to ensure former Nasheed's safety and well-being in custody, Kirby urged the Maldivian government to make progress in all political cases pending, including against former Defense Minister Nazim, whose appeal process has been delayed, and against Adhaalath Party Sheik Imran, who has not been charged since his May arrest.