Former Maldives President Arrested

Won the nation's first democratically elected presidency


Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed, who defied an island-confining arrest issued by a magistrate, was arrested on Monday morning from a southern island, where he was conducting a mass contact programme.

Life has come a full circle for the Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience in hardly half a decade: he was among the longest-serving political prisoners released ahead of the 2008 elections. He won the first-ever democratically held presidential elections with the help of a combined opposition. Less than four years hence, he was out of office, and back under the custody of the Maldivian National Defence Forces (MNDF), to stand trial for the "unlawful" arrest of a judge during his last days in power.

Speaking to The Hindu from the southern island of Fares-Maathoda, Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) spokesperson for international affairs, said that masked personnel of the MNDF descended on island early on Monday morning, and arrested the former president. "They just dragged him away to their mother boat. They came in about 5 boats to the island," he said.