Several nations have taken up the call for the government of the Maldives to abide by the landmark ruling issued by the Supreme Court late Thursday to release nine convicted political leaders and reinstate 12 disqualified lawmakers.
In the unprecedented court order, the apex court ordered the immediate release of former President Mohamed Nasheed, Jumhoory Party leader Qasim Ibrahim, Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla, along with former Vice President Ahmed Adheeb, former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon, former prosecutor general Muhthaz Muhusin, former magistrate Ahmed Nihan, and local businessman Hamid Ismail.
The court stated that, based on the complaints received regarding the jailed politicians’ trials, it has decided to reopen their cases and reach the second verdict for all, until which the politicians would be free.
In the wake of the ruling, several countries have urged the Maldivian government to comply with the court order unconditionally.
In a press release Friday, India’s external affairs ministry stated, “In the spirit of democracy and rule of law, it is imperative for all organs of the Government of Maldives to respect and abide by the order of the apex court.”
Further urging the authorities to ensure the safety and security of Indian expatriates in the Maldives, the ministry said it was closely monitoring the situation and “wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling was also welcomed by the United States and the United Kingdom.
In a tweet, US Ambassador to the Maldives, Atul Keshap, urged the Maldivian state and security forces to respect the court order to ensure democracy and the rule of law.
Similarly, the British Ambassador, James Dauris, tweeted that the top court ruling asserted the independence of the Maldivian judiciary, and would be widely welcomed by the people.
“Friends around the international community will be hoping that the government complies with the Court’s ruling quickly and unconditionally,” he added.
While Maldives Police Service was the first state institution to back the Supreme Court’s ruling, the government had soon after stated in a press conference that it would analyse the legitimacy of the order before complying with it. The wake of the ruling saw the president firing the police commissioner while the attorney general has revealed that they would be submitting concerns regarding the ruling to the court.
In addition to releasing the political prisoners, the Supreme Court also ordered to reinstate the 12 lawmakers that were ousted from parliament last year, while also lifting the ban on floor-crossing.
Meanwhile, the opposition and lawyers of the released political prisoners and unseated MPs continue to express concern over the government’s delay in enforcing the apex court’s order as none of them has officially been released from custody yet.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News