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Maldives ex-President Mohamed Nasheed returns from asylum

Maldives' former President Mohamed Nasheed and his wife, Laila Ali Abdulla, leave a private apartment in Colombo to return to their country, after living in exile in London and the Sri Lankan for over two-and-a-half years, on November 1, 2018.

Maldives' former President Mohamed Nasheed and his wife, Laila Ali Abdulla, leave a private apartment in Colombo to return to their country, after living in exile in London and the Sri Lankan for over two-and-a-half years, on November 1, 2018.

The first democratically elected President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, returned home on Thursday after more than two years in exile to escape a long prison term.

As the plane carrying him from Sri Lanka landed in Maldives’ capital Male, he was welcomed by his party members and supporters. He planned to address his supporters later in the day.

Mr. Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in jail in 2015 after being convicted of terrorism for ordering the arrest of a top judge in 2012 while he was President. His trial was criticised internationally for lack of due process, along with those of many other political opponents jailed by strongman President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration.

Mr. Nasheed’s return follows Mr. Yameen’s defeat in the September 23 presidential election by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, candidate of Mr. Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party.

Since Mr. Yameen’s defeat, courts have freed or granted bail to some of the jailed officials.

Suspension of prison sentence

The Supreme Court earlier this week suspended Mr. Nasheed’s prison sentence until it reviews his conviction at the request of the country’s prosecutor general, a move to prevent his arrest on arrival.

Two other people, an Opposition party leader and a former vice president who was Mr. Yameen’s running mate in the 2103 presidential election, earlier returned from exile.

Mr. Nasheed, a former pro-democracy activist, was elected President in the country’s first multi-party election in 2008 after decades of autocratic rule.


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Printable version | May 28, 2022 6:26:25 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/maldives-ex-president-returns-from-asylum/article25391177.ece