MALDIVES (OBSERVATORY) – Maldives rejected a call by a UN human rights panel on Monday to allow former president Mohamed Nasheed to run for public office, including running for president this year, Reuters reports.
The panel, which includes independent experts monitoring government compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, said in a finding that the condemnation of the alleged terrorist charges was based on vague laws and included gross errors and violated the right to a fair trial.
“Political rights can be suspended or restricted in exceptional circumstances and circumstances,” Committee member Sarah Cleveland said in a statement. Judicial proceedings that violate the right to a fair trial may arbitrarily restrict political rights.”
Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in prison but left the country on a treatment trip to Britain. He was sentenced to 16 years in office.
The committee said it wanted to receive information from the Maldives within 180 days on the procedures it would take to take its views into account.
But the government quickly rejected the commission’s report.
“The Maldivian government … absolutely refuses to have any of these rights violated in the case of former president Nasheed. The government accepts the condemnation of the anthem as legal and final.”
Nasheed described him as a fugitive from justice and said the UN committee had not paid sufficient attention to information sent by the government.
“For his attempt to disrupt justice and dismantle the judicial authority of the state, whether in power or after his departure from it, the former president was sentenced because he issued an order to kidnap a judge,” she said.
President Abdullah Yemin imposed a state of emergency in February to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that dropped convictions from nine opposition leaders, including Nasheed.