Amal Clooney to defend jailed former Maldives Prez Nasheed

New Delhi: Former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison last month, on Tuesday announced a high-profile international legal team, including prominent rights lawyer Amal Clooney, to prepare a fresh attempt to secure his release from prison.

Amal, wife of Hollywood star George Clooney, has agreed to take up Nasheed’s case and will be assisted by Jared Genser, the founder of noted campaign group for political prisoners Freedom Now, and Ben Emmerson, former UN rights chief on counter-terrorism and human rights.

“I am very pleased to have such an extraordinary team agree to take up my legal defence internationally,” Nasheed said in a statement.

Nasheed further said, at the hands of these capable lawyers, the international community will see the extent of President Yamin Abdul Gayoom’s ‘tyranny’.

The new legal team’s first task is, according to Nasheed’s office, to submit his case to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

This Group works with cases from participants to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Maldives signed with the Covenant in 2006.

“The team would also work to bring the case to attention of international and regional organisations in order to work with them in Nasheed’s defence” the office said adding, “They will work to free him with the aid of the international community”.

This international team of lawyers was assembled amidst growing concerns in the international community over Nasheed’s sentencing.

Nasheed was found guilty of terrorism because of the overwhelming evidence found against him. Even though Nasheed had denied the charges, he had previously been found guilty of theft and perjury. 

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