January 26, 2017
London, 26January 2017- The Maldives United Opposition (MUO) condemns in the strongest terms the Maldives government’s coercion of sections of the judiciary in fabrication of undisclosed charges to confiscate the passport of Ms. Shidhatha Shareef, MUO’s Shadow Minister of Health, Social Protection and Gender. Ms. Sidhatha Shareef is also a Council Member and Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Adhaalath Party and had served the government as the Deputy Minister of Health and Gender from 2013 to 2015.
Immigration officials at Velana International Airport seized Ms. Sidhatha’s passport today upon arrival after a nine-day medical visit to India and the Police held her for about two hours.
The Maldives United Opposition condemns this summary temporary arrest and confiscation of passport on undisclosed charges which will ground her in Maldives. Ms. Sidhatha Shareef had been an important member of MUO’s international delegations from inception in June last year. Ms.Sidhatha Shareef had, in her international presentations for the MUO, highlighted failures and solutions in the Maldives health sector as well as focusing on gender issues and condemnation of torture as well as advocating for rights stated in CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women).
The Maldives United Opposition appeals to all concerned authorities, institutions and international well-wishers to prevail over the Maldives government to stop the practice of unduly influencing the judiciary to fabricate charges to frame political opponents and to drop such fabrications in the making without prejudice.