Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed Arrested
by: Katie Grimmer
October 10, 2012
Mohamed Nasheed, formerly the first democratically-elected president in 30 years of the Maldives before being outsted in a coup d’état, has again been arrested after he twice refused to show up to his trials.
Shortly after Nasheed arrived on the small Fares-Maathodaa island, a police team — all but two in SWAT gear — forcefully entered the home of Mohamed Aslam, the former Minister of Housing and Environment.
Despite already being forced out of office by political opponents, Nasheed was determined to continue his presidential campaign for 2013.
“We believe Nasheed’s arrest is politically motivated, aimed solely at preventing him from campaigning ahead of the presidential elections,” Ahmed Naseem, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, said.
Naseem, along with the former Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair were pepper sprayed and dragged from the house. The police shoved Aslam onto his glass table. Almost all were forced out of the home as more police went in to arrest Nasheed, all according to the eyewitness report.
In January then-President Nasheed sent the military in to arrest a senior judge (an ally and appointment of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom), which is believed to have caused protests and the coup at gun-point a month later.
Supporters are now worried that the former president will not get a fair trial. Only a few days ago, Nasheed tweeted, “Questioning the legitimacy of the ad hoc Magistrate Court, I have appealed the case with the high court and I await a decision.”
Mohamed Nasheed is well-known as a climate change action advocate, and has won awards for his dedicated to human rights, democracy, environmental protection and non-violent action. Newsweek listed him as one of the “World’s Ten Best Leaders” in 2010.