UK grants asylum to Maldives' ex-president Mohamed Nasheed

May 24, 2016 13:09 IST

Mohamed NasheedHasan Latheef, lawyer of Maldives’ former President Mohamed Nasheed, claimed on 23 May 2016 that Britain has granted political refugee status to the ousted former president.

Nasheed was granted permission in January 2016 to leave for the U.K. by the Maldivian Government to undergo a spinal surgery. He was supposed to return to Maldives after the treatment, but remained in London.

About Mohamed Nasheed

Mohamed Nasheed is a Maldivian politician, human rights and environmental activist.

He served as the fourth President of the Maldives from 2008 to 2012.

He was the first democratically elected president of the Maldives and one of the founders of the Maldivian Democratic Party.

On 7 February 2012, he resigned as president under disputed circumstances, following weeks of protests by the opposition, which had then been joined by a majority of military and police forces.

Background

In September 2012, Nasheed was put on trial for abuse of power for his actions in arresting Judge of Criminal Court Maldives Abdulla Mohamed. However, his trial was cancelled without explanation.

Nasheed was again arrested in October 2012 for violating a court order not to leave Malé Atoll, the atoll on which the Maldivian capital is located. He was detained overnight and then released on the condition that he would answer questions about his alleged abuse of presidential powers within 25 days.

He was reported to have taken refuge in the Indian High Commission office in Malé in February 2013 after a Maldivian court issued an arrest warrant against him and ordered the police to detain him.

On March 2013, he was arrested on the charges of abuse of the office but was released a day later.

In February 2015, he was arrested again and ordered to stand on trial for his decision to arrest Abdulla Mohamed in 2012 while he was the President.

On 13 March 2015, he was sentenced to thirteen years in Maafushi Prison for abducting Abdulla Mohamed. He was charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Maldives.

His jail term was widely criticised by international bodies, including the United Nations, and foreign governments.

On 16 January 2016, he was granted permission under the condition to serve the remainder of the sentence upon return to the Maldives after surgery.

He was granted 30 days leave for a back surgery, which expired on 22 January 2016. The former president requested an additional 60 day leave extension was temporarily rejected by the Maldivian authorities.

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