HASH(0xb6d440)

Maldives opposition party leader arrested for alleged plot

Maldives opposition party leader arrested for alleged plot

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Police in the Maldives have arrested an opposition party leader on a charge of plotting to overthrow the government, a move the joint opposition condemned Friday as intensifying a crackdown on political opponents.

Jumhooree Party leader and lawmaker Qasim Ibrahim had signed an agreement with others last month to try to restore democracy in the archipelago nation, and the joint opposition said his arrest was aimed at obstructing the work of the alliance, which it said has threatened the power of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Qasim was arrested Thursday evening on the charges of “attempting to influence no confidence motions against the Speaker of Parliament” and “plotting to overthrow the government,” according to the joint opposition’s statement.

The arrest of the tourism tycoon came days after the government defeated a no-confidence motion against the speaker and thereby prevented the opposition bid to take control of Parliament.

The opposition says the charges are “trumped-up” and demonstrate the willingness of Gayoom’s government to “subvert state institutions in order to pursue and persecute anyone to who attempts to hold him accountable.”

Spokesmen for the government and for police did not answer phone calls Friday seeking comment.

The opposition alliance includes the Maldives’ first democratically elected leader Mohamed Nasheed, its former strongman leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Qasim and another political party.

Yameen is a half-brother of Maumoon and became president in 2013 by defeating Nasheed. Since then he has been accused of using the judiciary, police and bureaucracy to crack down on opponents.

Nasheed, a vice-president, a defence minister and another political party leader have been given lengthy prison sentences after trials on terrorism charges that were criticized for lack of due process.

The government also tightly controls public gatherings and recently enacted an anti-defamation law with hefty fines and jail terms for journalists and social media users.

Bharatha Mallawarachi, The Associated Press

Just Posted

UPDATE: Poor ventilation likely cause of carbon monoxide incident at Delta farm

All 42 patients have been released from hospital, according to Delta Fire

LETTER: Township has much to do the day before Christmas

A Langley letter writer shares her prose about Township Langley council preparing for Christmas Day.

Santa, Moana drop in on Aldergrove children’s party: PHOTOS

Annual Christmas party for children hosted by Aldergrove Elks

North Langley boys fight to finish ahead of Clayton’s Lord Tweedsmuir

Tsumura Basketball Invitational action wrapped up Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

Langley families spend time with the man in red

Willows Church hosted a Santa Claus Breakfast Saturday morning, attracting lots of folks.

VIDEO: Goalie of Langley-based Giants kept door shut to U.S. league-leaders

Vancouver G-Men defeated the Winterhawks Tuesday 5-3 at LEC, now 1-0 in Portland Friday night.

Aldergrove Kodiaks fall to Flames

Kodiaks assistant captain Kyle Bosko scored the team’s only two goals in a 2-5 loss

Aldergrove Secondary celebrates 60th anniversary

Aldergrove Secondary School is celebrating “60 years of Totems” with an open house on May 12, 2018.

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

VIDEO: Man frustrated that Vancouver taxi driver won’t take him home to New Westminster

Kuldip Gill says that not being able to get a ride to the suburbs is a constant problem

Legacy of Amanda Todd lives on through B.C. foundation

Todd’s mother Carol stresses the importance of putting the phone down and talking with children

UPDATE: Train hits hydro pole, causes outage near Deltaport

No injuries reported but traffic in and out of Deltaport is blocked

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Most Read