03:27 GMT +317 October 2019
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    Maldivian police officers detain an opposition protestor demanding the release of political prisoners during a protest in Male, Maldives, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018

    India Asks Maldives to Free Jailed Opposition Leaders

    © AP Photo / Mohamed Sharuhaan
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    The Indian government in its statement said that as a close and friendly neighbor, India wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — As the supporters of former President Mohamed Nasheed continue to clash with the police in the Maldivian capital Male, India has called upon the government of Maldives to free the political prisoners.

    On Thursday, the Maldivian Supreme Court, in a major development, dismissed a terror case against former President Mohamed Nasheed and colleagues enabling them to walk free as well as reinstated as members of Parliament.

    In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India said it was closely monitoring the evolving situation in the Maldives and also hoped that the safety and security of Indian expatriates in the island nation would be ensured by the Maldivian authorities under all circumstances.

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    "We have seen last night's order of the Supreme Court of Maldives releasing all political prisoners. In the spirit of democracy and rule of law, it is imperative for all organs of the Government of Maldives to respect and abide by the order of the apex court," the MEA release further added.

    The Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean in the grip of a political turmoil since former president Nasheed was convicted in the year 2015 for a 13-year jail term on charges of involvement in terror activities. The trials against Nasheed and his party men were condemned internationally.

    Nasheed was earlier in the United Kingdom on asylum after he was allowed to leave the country for "medical treatment" due to pressure from international community. He is presently in Sri Lanka and he took to Twitter to welcome the decision of the Supreme Court.

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    His supporters are now demanding the resignation of the current President Abdulla Yameen as the reinstatement of 12 members of Parliament gives them a clear majority with the power to impeach the President. Furthermore, the election in the country is due later this year and with the court's decision Nasheed would be free to challenge the existing President in the contest.

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    exile, peace, coup, court, Indian Ministry of External Affairs, India, Maldives
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