News

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney urges Sri Lankan authorities to ensure safety of former Maldives President Nasheed

14 September 2017 - 403   - 0

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is urging Sri Lankan authorities to respect the rights and ensure the safety of her client and former President of the Maldives Mohammed Nasheed should  he set foot in the country.

 Clooney on Wednesday raised fresh fears for the safety of her client, former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, after an official vowed to have him arrested and deported, AFP reported.

The London-based lawyer said she was "very concerned" about remarks by Male's ambassador-designate to Colombo, that he would have the exiled leader arrested if he set foot in Sri Lanka.

Clooney, who is married to Hollywood star George Clooney, had successfully petitioned a UN body which ruled in late 2015 that Nasheed was wrongfully convicted on a terrorism charge earlier that year and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Nasheed 1

Amal Clooney with former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed at a press conference in London in January 2016/AFP

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention also ordered the government of President Abdulla Yameen immediately to free Nasheed and pay him compensation, a demand rejected by the Maldives.

Nasheed travelled to London in January last year on prison leave for medical treatment and has since then remained in self-imposed exile. He travels frequently to Sri Lanka to meet fellow dissidents.

The new Maldivian envoy to Sri Lanka, Mohamed Hussain Shareef, told a local television station Monday that he would have Nasheed arrested in Colombo should he visit and would deport him.

"If a Maldivian authority requests me to detain and return Mohamed Nasheed back to the Maldives, I will," Shareef said.

"It's very simple. They have to say, this is an individual who we are seeking. I'll even go out to the street myself and do it."

Clooney said Nasheed should not be returned to the Maldives to serve his prison sentence.

"Any attempt by a Maldivian diplomat to detain president Nasheed in Sri Lanka would constitute a violation of international law as well as Sri Lankan criminal law," she said according to a statement mailed to AFP by Nasheed's party.

She also said Sri Lankan authorities must ensure that Nasheed's rights were respected while he was in their country.

Her co-counsel Jared Genser said Shareef's remarks were "as outrageous as they are in flagrant violation of international law".

Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party said they were not taking Shareef's remarks lightly in view of the illegal arrest of a Maldivian national in Colombo in November 2015 and his deportation.

Sri Lanka's foreign ministry had in 2015 warned the Maldivian envoy in Colombo that any similar action in future could seriously damage relations.

The Maldives has faced tough international criticism over the jailing in March 2015 of Nasheed, the first democratically elected president, following a rushed trial which the UN said was politically motivated.

Yameen, who came to power following a controversial run-off against Nasheed in November 2013 faces international censure over his crackdown on dissidents.

AFP

  Comments - 0

  • Leave a comment

Top Stories

India assists upgradation of Thondaman Vocational Training Centre in Hatton

India and Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today, to upgrade Thondaman Vocational Training Centre(TVTC), Hatton located in Nuwa...

20 September 2017 - Views : 55

Dialog suffers countrywide 'network failure'

20 September 2017

SLT workers to 'down tools' at midnight (September 20)

20 September 2017

Pakistan assured continuing assistance to Sri Lanka

20 September 2017



style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-6200193111498313"
data-ad-slot="1999573490">

 

Features & Analysis

Finalists of the Girls category in the inter-school Shakespeare Drama competition announced

The three judges at the 44th Inter – School Shakespeare Drama competition revealed the finalists of the Girls C...

Semi-finals of the Shakespeare Drama Competition get underway

The 44 th annual Shakespeare Drama Competition organized by the Colombo YMCA and the Rotary Club of Colombo Nort...

Bringing on the laughter with 'Freddy Strikes Back!'

Director and writer Feroze Kamardeen brought in the second dose of comedic satire in "Freddy Strikes Back!"...

Riz Ahmed becomes first Asian man to win an acting Emmy Award

British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed has made history as the first Asian star to win an acting prize at the Primetime Em...



style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-6200193111498313"
data-ad-slot="1999573490">