UN Human Rights committees today ruled that Maldives must restore ex-President Mohamed Nasheed’s right to stand for the office of President which was promptly rejected by the government.
The committee in a finding said that the judicial proceedings in which Mr. Nasheed was convicted were based on vague legislation, contained serious flaws and violated his right to a fair trial.
The committee also found that the resulting restrictions on Mr. Nasheed’s right to stand for office violated his rights to political participation under article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Maldives foreign ministry rejected the UNHRC ruling and refuted that any of the rights of Mr. Nasheed have been violated.
It said that it is for the Supreme Court to decide on the eligibility of Mr. Nashhed for Presidential elections and not for UNHRC. Mr Nasheed in his reaction urged Maldives government to reconsider its response to the ruling and to open and enter into sincere dialogue with the opposition with the view to holding inclusive, free and fair Presidential elections.
Mr. Nasheed, first brought to a Maldivian court in 2012, was ultimately charged with terrorism and sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment in March 2015.
Presently under exile, he was disqualified from running in presidential elections for 16 years. Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in September this year where current President Abdullah Yameen will be seeking re-election.
Mr. Yameen administration has jailed or exiled most of his political opponents in last few years on several charges. A Supreme Court ruling on February 1st to release the nine political prisoners and hold retrial led to the imposition of emergency in the country.