India urges Maldives to immediately release political prisoners

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    India urged the island nation Maldives to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by immediately releasing political prisoners.

    India urges Maldives to immediately release political prisoners

    A day after Maldives court sentenced a former strongman accused of plotting to overthrow the government to 19 months, Ministry of External Affairs stated that India believes that a democratic, stable and prosperous Maldives is in interests of all its neighbours and friends in the Indian Ocean. It reiterates its advice to Govt of Maldives to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by immediately releasing political prisoners.

    "We learned that former President of the Maldives and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court being sentenced to long prison terms without a fair trial. This casts doubt on the commitment of Government of Maldives to uphold the rule of law and will also call into question credibility of the entire process of Presidential polls in September," said MEA.

    A Maldives court has sentenced a former strongman accused of plotting to overthrow the government to 19 months in prison for failing to corporate with the police investigation. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Indian Ocean archipelago state from 1978 to 2008, is the second former president to be jailed under President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's rule.

    He was arrested in February on charges of attempting to overthrow the government of Yameen, his half-brother. A court sentenced him on Wednesday to one year, seven months and six days in prison for failing to hand over his mobile phone to investigators.

    Maldives became a multiparty democracy in 2008, ending Gayoom's 30-year strongman rule. However, Yameen, who was elected in 2013, has rolled back much of the democratic gains.

    (With PTI inputs)

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