Vice Chair Crowley Statement on the Temporary Release of Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed

Jan 19, 2016 Issues: Foreign Affairs

(Queens, N.Y.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, welcomed the Maldivian government’s temporary release of jailed former President Mohamed Nasheed:

“While I’m relieved that President Nasheed has been temporarily released for medical treatment, the reality is nothing has changed in the Maldives. This situation is far from over, and I will continue to closely monitor it moving forward. The fact remains, President Nasheed should have never been imprisoned like this in the first place.”

Following international pressure, former President Mohamed Nasheed was temporarily released from prison on Sunday to seek medical treatment overseas. However, the Maldivian government is requiring Nasheed return to the country following his treatment. A long-time human rights activist, climate activist, and leader of an opposition party in the Maldives, Nasheed has faced deeply unfair treatment and was sentenced to 13 years in prison earlier this year on trumped-up charges of terrorism. The United Nations, United States, and others have called for Nasheed’s release, and Amnesty International has called his sentencing a “travesty of justice”.

Crowley has a long-time interest in the region, working to support positive democratic change in Burma, Bangladesh, and elsewhere. He has met with the former foreign minister of the Maldives and had publicly called for Nasheed’s release.