14 September 2015, Male';

The Government of the Maldives notes with concern the statement made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Human Rights Council today.

The statement refers to what it considers to be ‘the decision to return him [former President Nasheed] to prison’, yet makes no mention of the fact that the decision to move Mr Nasheed to ‘house arrest’ was only ever a temporary measure. Further, the High Commissioner’s statement alleges that the rule of law continues to be “manipulated for political reasons”. The Government of the Maldives rejects the High Commissioner’s characterization of the situation in the Maldives, and the allegations made which are completely baseless.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights will note that following the refusal of former President Nasheed to file an appeal, the Prosecutor General sought to put the case before the appellate courts given the criticisms raised, and a direct request by Mr Nasheed.

The former President then failed to co-operate with the process, instead, preferring to argue before the High Court that the Prosecutor General did not have the power to bring such an appeal. Mr Nasheed’s refusal to engage with the process was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the proceedings and thus it is Mr Nasheed who is seeking to manipulate the judicial process for political gain.

To seek the release of an individual purely on the basis of his political standing and having regard to the allegations against him is inappropriate, and clearly seeks to circumvent the rule of law.

Further, the High Commissioner is reminded that the complaint filed by the former President with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has not yet published its opinion on the matter and is still subject to review and thus the demands made in this recent statement prior to the conclusion of that review are again, wholly inappropriate.