News ID: 209321
Published: 0224 GMT February 03, 2018

UN chief urges Maldives government to respect court ruling

UN chief urges Maldives government to respect court ruling

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called upon the Maldivian government to respect a landmark Supreme Court ruling ordering the release of nine political prisoners.

Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement released overnight that the UN chief believes the Maldives' “political stalemate” can be resolved through “all-party talks, which the United Nations continues to stand ready to facilitate,” Reuters reported.

“He also calls on all to exercise restraint,” Dujarric added.

The court ruled Thursday that the convictions of senior Maldivian opposition figures were “questionable” and “politically motivated,” overturned these rulings, and ordered new trials. It also reinstated 12 legislators who were expelled for defecting from President Abdulla Yameen’s party.

The Supreme Court intervention represents a major setback for Yameen and paves the way for the return of his rival Mohamed Nasheed – whom he controversially defeated in 2013.

Exiled former president Nasheed told AFP on Friday that he intends to run for president, a day after the court’s surprise decision to cut short his 13-year prison sentence for terrorism.

Tensions reignited in the Indian Ocean archipelago on Friday, following clashes the previous night between opposition supporters and the police. Authorities used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters.


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