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Maldives opposition insists on need for drastic steps as UK mulls travel bans

Mohamed Visham
14 July 2016, MVT 13:39
Former president Nasheed and his aides meet UN officials in the UK.
Mohamed Visham
14 July 2016, MVT 13:39

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Thursday welcomed a recent statement by a top UK diplomat over possible travel bans top Maldives government officials and members of the judiciary insisting that such measures are necessary to restore democracy in the archipelago.

Responding to a question in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire said the UK government is extremely concerned as the situation in the Maldives continues to deteriorate.

“We strongly encourage the Government of the Maldives to engage constructively with both the United Nations and the Commonwealth envoys and to implement all of the recent recommendations of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group,” Swire who remains a strong critic of president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s government said.

“We are also considering bilateral action, including exclusion orders against senior members of the Government and the judiciary,” the state minister warned.

MDP in a statement stressed on the need for such drastic measures as the government along with the judiciary continue to violate human rights and destroy democracy.

"MDP believes that action against individual members of the government and judiciary is needed to save and protect democrarcy in the Maldives," the statement in local language Dhivehi read.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, who was handed a 13-year jail term last March on a terror charge, leads the international push for sanctions.

Nasheed was allowed to travel to Britain for surgery in January and granted political asylum in May.

Nasheed’s legal counsel had said they have shared a confidential list of potential targets with the US and UK governments.

President Yameen has repeatedly lambasted international criticism as an attack on the Maldives’ sovereignty.

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