Male, March 9 (Avas): The leader of the Jumhooree Party (JP) and Speaker of the Maldivian parliament Gasim Ibrahim has called for the immediate release of jailed former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom because he thinks it is wrong to jail a person before he is given a fair trial.
Gasim, who was speaking at a parliamentary election campaign rally for the Henveiru South candidate Alhan Fahmy. said that he had said the same thing when former President Mohammed Nasheed was jailed on terrorism charges. Nasheed had not been convicted when he was jailed.
Gasim made this remark in the presence of members of opposing Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Peoples’ National Congress (PNC).
He said that the incumbent government assumed office speaking against the jailing of political leaders and former Presidents. However, their actions today contradict their words, Gasim pointed out. A person who was once president cannot be arrested based on an intelligence report, and called upon the government to release former President Yameen.
“I call for the immediate release of Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, he should not be held in jail [before his crime is proven]. They [the government] promised not to be unjust, but they have now jailed President Abdulla Yameen. This cannot be done, and they will have to release him. Justice and fairness should be for everyone”, said Gasim passionately.
President Yameen is being held under state custody until the end of his money-laundering trial. The Prosecutor General requested the Criminal Court to take Yameen into custody to deny him a chance to influence the evidence against him. The arrest has since been appealed at the High Court.
Gasim said there is a fear that the police would arrive and arrest him then and there for his words. However, he said he not afraid.
It was recently announced that the Jumhooree Party, which is part of the ruling coalition, is teaming up with opposing progressive coalition for the upcoming parliamentary elections. On Friday night, Gasim confirmed the alliance, and thanked the coalition for backing JP candidates, assuring that the JP would back the progressive candidates in return.