The ongoing trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed was again the subject of debate in London this week, as well as the current human rights situation in the country.
On Tuesday night, the Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission convened to discuss the Maldives, inviting speakers from the government, the opposition, and civil society to participate in the event titled “Human rights and Democracy in the Maldives: Where do we go from here?”
The following day, a private members debate was secured by Karen Lumley MP in the House of Commons to discuss the role of the UK government and the Commonwealth in ensuring a fair trial for Nasheed, whose case was postponed on Sunday following a high court injunction.
Tuesday’s meeting was attended by former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Dr Farahanaz Faizal, former Foreign Minister and current UN Special Rapporteur Dr Ahmed Shaheed, barrister – and current member of Nasheed’s legal team – Sir Ivan Lawrence QC, as well as Amnesty International’s South Asia specialist Abbas Faiz.
Invitations were also extended to the Acting High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Ahmed Shiaan and Minister for Tourism Ahmed Adheeb.
However, after queries from panel members in attendance as to the whereabouts of the government’s representatives, the committee’s Chair Robert Buckland MP informed those present that, despite having initially accepted the invitation, the government representatives had withdrawn.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said that Adheeb had been unable to attend the meeting as it had clashed with a ministerial dinner. He had also been busy with duties related to the 2012 World Travel Market, which had been the primary purpose of his visit to London.