Sri Lanka should ensure Nasheed’s safety – Amal Clooney
September 14, 2017 01:07 pm
Human rights lawyer and wife of actor George Clooney, Amal Clooney has urged Sri Lankan authorities to ensure the safety of her client and former President of the Maldives Mohammed Nasheed.
Ms.Clooney expressed her sentiments following a statement made by Mohamed Hussain Shareef, the Ambassador-designate to Colombo of Maldives who stated that he would have Mr.Nasheed arrested the moment he set foot in Sri Lanka.
Speaking to the Maldivian media, the ambassador-designate stated that he would even ‘go out to the street and do it myself’ expressing his intention to take Mr.Nasheed into custody.
Ms.Clooney who is appearing on behalf of the former President stated that any attempt made by a Maldivian diplomat to arrest Mr.Nasheed on Sri Lankan soild would amount to a violation of both International and Sri Lankan criminal law. She also stated that her client has no responsibility to return to Maldives for a ‘sham trial’ and that Sri Lankan authorities had the responsibility to ensure his rights are protected.
The Hindu reports that Sri Lankan authorities are yet to respond to a statement submitted by Mr.Nasheed’s office.
Mr. Nasheed, 50, was the Maldives’s first democratically elected head of state and served four years as President. He was convicted in 2015 on terrorism charges following a trial that many, including the UN Group on Arbitrary Detention, criticised. In 2016, he flew to London on prison leave for medical treatment and was granted asylum soon after.
Since then, he has been travelling frequently to Sri Lanka. In August 2016, he secretly flew from London to Colombo to firm up plans with fellow dissidents to unseat President Abdulla Yameen, but their attempt failed.
The Maldivian government which has come under strict scrutiny over the past few years have been advised by several international bodies to refrain from acts of harassment or intimidation against members of parliament, civilians or the media.