July 18, 2016
The Maldives United Opposition (MUO) strongly condemns the unlawful conduct of the Maldives Criminal Court, seen widely to be politically biased, for the prison sentence of 4 months and 24 days passed today (18 July 2016) on Honourable Ahmed Mahloof MP. The MUO calls for the reversal of this injustice and immediate freedom for MP Mahloof. An independent member of the Peoples Majlis (parliament), MP Mahloof is the Spokesperson of the Maldives United Opposition since inception and is a member of Parliamentarians for Global action.
The MUO condemns the unjustified closed hearing held to sentence MP Mahloof, on trumped up and incredulous charges of “attempting to flee from Police custody” in a trial that dragged on over a year, following his temporary arrest from a public rally during March 2015. MP Mahloof, had been a vocal critic of the government since his expulsion from PPM in March 2015, and was arrested a number of times, leading on to cases of politically- motivated charges against him. MP Mahloof had been the target of selective charges and continued persecution by this regime. His sentencing is the latest in a series of such sentences undertaken against opposition political leaders, and is an example of the judicial perpetuation of the Government’s policy of oppression.
The Maldives United Opposition urges all international well-wishers to be firm in addressing issues raised and up for review by September, by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, and calls upon concerned institutions and authorities to prevail upon the government of Maldives, to stop abusing the judiciary for the unlawful purposes of stifling peaceful political dissent and for the reversal of this glaring injustice and for immediate freedom for MP Ahmed Mahloof.