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Maldives court restricts ex-president to capital

The Hulhumale Magistrate Court in the Maldives has issued an order preventing ex-president Mohamed Nasheed from leaving the capital of Male without official permission. Nasheed was also served with unnamed criminal proceedings. Nasheed supporters claimed [AP report] that this move was politically motivated and will limit the ex-president's ability to campaign for the next election. This order comes after a court in the Maldives refused to hear the case [JURIST report] against Nasheed in July, saying it did not have jurisdiction to rule in the case. That case questioned the legality of Nasheed's unilateral order to the arrest [JURIST report] of Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed on corruption charges in January while he was still the president.

The arrest of the chief justice and the resulting unrest in Maldives sparked weeks of tension and unrest that has drawn international attention. In August a Maldives commission of inquiry concluded that Nasheed's resignation in February was legal and voluntary [JURIST reports]. In July the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) claimed that press freedom [JURIST report] in the country has been deteriorating since the resignation. In April the Maldives Police Service referred the case against Nasheed to the Prosecutor's General Office two months after an arrest warrant [JURIST reports] against him was issued. Nasheed has claimed that the arrest and charges against him were politically motivated. A group of Maldives lawyers in January asked [JURIST report] the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder] to review the legality of the arrest of Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed. During the same month, the Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs had asked [JURIST report] the UN to help them to resolve the unrest arising out of the arrest of the chief justice.

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