Asia

Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed re-jailed

Mohamed Nasheed attends a military parade in the central Sri Lankan town of Diyatalawa - 27 December 2011 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mohamed Nasheed became the nation's first democratically elected leader in 2008

The former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, has been sent back to prison after two months under house arrest.

In March, Nasheed was given a 13-year sentence under anti-terror laws.

His lawyers claim the case against him is political, and that the government are reneging on an earlier decision to commute his sentence to house arrest.

But the government denied this, saying house arrest had been temporarily granted on medical grounds.

Nasheed's lawyers claim that they have a document that proves his 13-year sentence was commuted to house arrest for the remainder its duration, on 19 July.

But presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali told the BBC that the document was a fake.

"The Maldives Correctional Service hasn't issued any such document changing the Criminal Court's ruling on Nasheed, that is, 13 years in prison," he said.

Image caption Nasheed's lawyers say this document proves his sentence was commuted to house arrest

One of Nasheed's lawyers, Amal Clooney, said the government had shown "a complete disregard for the rule of law."

"They have the audacity to claim that there was no commutation of Nasheed's sentence even though we have official documents and public statements confirming the opposite," she added.

A former human rights campaigner, Nasheed became the nation's first democratically elected leader in 2008, ending three decades of rule by former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

In 2012, he was detained after being accused of ordering the arrest of a judge.

He resigned months later amid an army mutiny and public protests over the judge's fate.

Nasheed alleged that he had been removed by a coup, but this was denied by his vice-president, who replaced him.

The current president, Abdulla Yameen, was elected in controversial polls in 2013 and is the half-brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who served for 30 years as president and was widely accused of autocratic rule.

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