Malé Friday, 13 March 2015 was a day to go into the history of Maldives as an ex-president, Mohamed Nasheed, was sentenced to prison for 13 years!
On Friday, a three-judge panel released the judgment against the first democratically elected president in the country since he was found guilty of terrorism for issuing illegal orders to detain a judge, while he was in power in 2012.
There has been a quick succession of disorderly events happening during last three years in which Nasheed was ousted, then lost a controversial election and now this conviction that made things even darker. One interesting fact is it is only the last month that he was cleared off this case, for which he is convicted now.
The office of President Abdulla Yameen confirmed this 13-years sentence. The three-judge panel unanimously agreed that the evidence produced by the prosecution is proven beyond any doubt that Nasheed ordered the forceful detention of the chief judge.
Nasheed came into the power in 2008 as a first democratically elected president and ended 30-year autocratic rule Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Nasheed’s election in 2008 ended the autocratic 30-year rule of Yameen’s half-brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Last month, the announcement of Nasheed’s arrest led to clashes between security forces and thousands of supporters of the ex-president.
The judgment has again aroused Nasheed’s supporters to come to the streets to protest against it. They gathered in the courtroom and some of them carried the posters with the message “ Free Nasheed”.
In the events following the arrest of the judge in 2012, Nasheed was forced to resign and then Yameen was elected as president in November 2013.
The Maldives, an archipelago of more than 1100 coral islands, is a popular holiday destination.