Left Menu
Development News Edition

Abdulla Yameen wants freedom after surprise vote in Maldives


Abdulla Yameen wants freedom after surprise vote in Maldives

A Maldives court released five political prisoners and heard appeals for freedom from several others on Monday, including a former president, just hours after strongman leader Abdulla Yameen conceded a shock election defeat.

Yameen, who jailed or exiled most of his rivals during a turbulent five-year term, was unexpectedly beaten by an opposition candidate who immediately urged the ousted president to free all dissidents he had incarcerated.

Opposition lawmaker and former police chief Abdulla Riyaz and four others were released by the Criminal Court in the capital Male on Monday.

They had been held indefinitely following an alleged plot to impeach Yameen in February that saw dozens detained.

Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the country's longest-serving leader and estranged half-brother to Yameen, was among several other political prisoners brought to Male to lodge appeals against their sentences. Their cases were referred to the country's High Court.

Officials said Gayoom, 80, and the other political prisoners were taken back to the Maafushi prison island near the capital and their appeals would likely be heard on Tuesday.

Gayoom, who ruled the Maldives for 30 straight years before its transition to democracy in 2008, was among those arrested during a February crackdown in the Indian Ocean island nation.

He was sentenced to 19-months in prison for obstructing an investigation into an alleged plot to oust Yameen who -- suspecting a plot to impeach him -- declared a state of emergency, arresting top judges and a host of others.

The UN called the February purge an "all-out assault on democracy".

Gayoom also faces a separate charge of terrorism, along with Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed. That case is still pending.

Yameen, 59, lost Sunday's election to political lightweight Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who had the backing of a unified opposition but little exposure due to heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

The president-elect garnered more than 58 percent of the popular vote in the archipelago nation of 340,000 Sunni Muslims, a popular tourist haven known for its white-sand beaches and pristine waters.

A deepening political crisis in the Maldives has dented its image as a honeymooners paradise and attracted alarm abroad. The US and EU had threatened financial sanctions if the presidential poll was not free and fair.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

JNU Administration's 100-meter challenge before JNUSU

For the first time in its history, Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU Administration is seeking permanent deployment of local police to keep protesting students at 100 meters away from the Administrative Block. It would be interesting to see h...

Sentiment Analysis of Twitter users during COP25: Governments losing trust on Climate Action

Sentiment analysis of Twitter users during COP25 in Madrid, being held from December 2-13, shows widespread fear on climate change due to global warming but almost no trust on governments in meeting the emission targets. In the analysis the...

These innovators are making humanitarian response more efficient

These alarming trends prompt a call for the world to not only address the ongoing crisis but also to adopt innovative approaches to fulfill the growing humanitarian needs in such emergencies. ...

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....

Videos

Latest News

Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs. Scientists home in on potential treatments for deadly Nipah virusScientists working on how to combat a highly infectious and deadly virus called Nipah, which is transmitted to humans fro...

Bureaucratic reshuffle at Centre: T V Somanathan named Expenditure Secy, Ravi Mittal I&B Secy

Senior IAS officer T V Somanathan was on Friday appointed Expenditure Secretary, the post lying vacant since late October, as part of a top-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre. Somanathan, a 1987-batch IAS officer, is at pre...

AP govt suspends IRS Officer Jasti Krishna Kishore

The Andhra Pradesh government suspended IRS Officer Jasti Krishna Kishore who is on deputation to the state government. Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney issued the order on Thursday suspending him based on the report of Industries, Infrastruct...

Reuters Entertainment News Summary

Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs. Ballerina Francesca Hayward leaps from stage to screen in CatsBritish ballerina Francesca Hayward is getting ready to take a leap from stage to the silver screen, with a star turn...

Give Feedback