New Delhi, June 14: India urged the Maldives to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners, including former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and former Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
“It is important for the Government of the Maldives to ensure credible restoration of the political process, as well as the rule of law before the elections, are announced this year,” ANI reported citing the MEA statement said.
“India believes that the imprisonment of the two was done without a fair trial, adding that it casts doubt on the commitment of the Maldivian government to uphold the rule of law”, it further added.
On Wednesday, Gayoom was awarded nineteen months of jail term after being found guilty of “obstructing justice” by not cooperating with the police probe.
Saeed along with the Supreme Court judge Justice Ali Hameed was sentenced to nineteen months of imprisonment each.
The trio was held on charges of plotting a coup, following a state of emergency was declared on February 5 and after a Supreme Court verdict to release nine political prisoners.
They were sentenced to imprisonment for failing to hand over their mobile phone to investigators.
India stressed that it has requested the Government of the Maldives to allow the apex court and the Parliament, to function in a free and independent manner, and to permit genuine political dialogue between all political parties, since the starting of the political crisis.
Questioning the credibility of the whole process of the Presidential elections in September this year, the external minitry also urged the government of Maldives to create the necessary conditions for the conduction of the Presidential Elections.
Amnesty International slammed the conviction of Gayoom, Saeed and Hameed as “politically motivated” and stated the trial did not meet global standards.
On the related note, in March, welcoming the revocation of the state of emergency in the Maldives, the MEA stated that a number of concerns, expressed by the international community still remain to be addressed.