Clooney raises fresh fears for ex­iled Mal­dives leader

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Hu­man rights lawyer Amal Clooney yes­ter­day raised fresh fears for the safety of her client, for­mer Mal­dives pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Nasheed, af­ter an of­fi­cial vowed to have him ar­rested and de­ported. 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. 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 self­im­posed 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. —AFP

LON­DON: In this pho­to­graph, for­mer Mal­dives pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Nasheed, cen­ter, his wife Laila Ali, left, and Bri­tish lawyer Amal Clooney look on af­ter Nasheed ar­rived at Heathrow air­port in Lon­don.—AFP

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