MALE, MALDIVES: Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, who was jailed for 13 years following a controversial trial last year, has been granted permission to travel to Britain for surgery, the Maldives government said today.
“The government of Maldives has granted permission to former president Nasheed to travel to the United Kingdom to undergo surgery, at his request,” the foreign ministry said on its official Twitter account.
Nasheed, who became the country’s first democratically elected leader in 2008, has previously complained of a spinal cord injury and his lawyers have demanded for months that he be allowed specialist treatment abroad.
The 48-year-old opposition leader was confined to jail on a small prison island near the capital Male in March 2015 on terror charges relating to the arrest of an allegedly corrupt judge in 2012, when he was still in power.
The UN has said his trial was seriously flawed and that he should be released and provided compensation for wrongful detention.
His 13-year jail sentence was commuted to house arrest in July, but two months later police took him back to prison, in a surprise move that drew fresh criticism from the UN and the United States.
London-based barrister Amal Clooney and Washington-based lawyer Jared Genser have been pressuring the government of President Abdulla Yameen to unconditionally release Nasheed.
He was forced out in what he called a coup led by the military and police in February 2012. Since then, the Maldives, a leading destination for upmarket tourists, has remained in political turmoil.