New Delhi, June 14 (newsin.asia): India on Thursday reiterated its “advise” to the Maldivian government “to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by immediately releasing political prisoners including former President Gayoom and Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and creating the necessary conditions for the participation of all political forces in the Presidential Elections.”
Following the Indian statement, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) called upon the international community to impose “targeted sanctions” against persons in the Yameen region who have “subverted the constitution, perpetrated human rights violations and tried to “steal” the Presidential election due in September this year.
The Indian statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said that India believes that a democratic, stable and prosperous Maldives is in the interests of all its neighbors and friends in the Indian Ocean.
“It is, therefore, with deep dismay that we learned that the former President of the Maldives as well as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are being sentenced to long prison terms without fair trial,” the statement pointed out.
The sentencing of these personalities without a fair trial “casts doubt on the commitment of the Government of the Maldives to uphold the rule of law and will also call into question the credibility of the entire process of Presidential elections in September this year,” the statement said.
It recalled that since the beginning of the political crisis in the Maldives, India has “repeatedly urged the Government of the Maldives to allow all institutions, including the Supreme Court and the Parliament, to function in a free and independent manner, and to permit genuine political dialogue between all political parties.”
“This has also been the demand of the international community at large,” it added.
Opposition Calls for Targeted Sanctions
The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has welcomed the “strongly worded” statement from India’s Ministry of External and said that it “shares India’s sentiments, as well as the concerns expressed by other members of the international community.”
Calling for target international sanctions , the party said that it is “clear as daylight” that President Yameen intends to “steal” the upcoming Presidential elections by jailing all his opponents, preventing opposition candidates from contesting, and using the politicized Elections Commission to “rig the vote.”
“Maldivians must remain vigilant, and work peacefully to prevent this electoral theft from taking place,” the statement said.
The MDP strongly condemned Thursday’s sentencing of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, and Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed to 19 months’ imprisonment for ‘obstruction of justice’.
President Gayoom and the justices’ arrest, trial and sentencing were “egregiously unjust and politically motivated, and directly orchestrated by President Yameen,” the MDP said.
(The featured image at the top shows the Indian External Affairs Ministry located at South Block ,Central Secretariat, New Delhi)