International community has failed democracy, says Nasheed

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 3:19am

The international community has failed to defend democracy in Maldives, ousted president Mohamed Nasheed said.

Speaking a day after his release from detention, Nasheed, who was forced out in what supporters say was a coup, said it was difficult for him to believe "democracy is sacred for the international community".

"The people of the Maldives have lost faith with the international community … which has taken a very narrow view," said Nasheed, an internationally respected environmental activist who was described by David Cameron as his "new best mate" last November.

Nasheed, who became the first democratically elected leader of the Indian Ocean island state in 2008, resigned as president in February in a confused episode during which he says he was forced to relinquish power at gunpoint.

Arrested on Monday after twice refusing summons to court to face charges linked to the controversial arrest of a senior judge while he was in power, Nasheed was held for 24 hours.

Speaking after his release he said the charges were aimed at ensuring he could not contest presidential polls set to be held next year. A trial date has now been set in early November.

Amnesty International has described events in the Maldives as a "human rights crisis", reporting widespread police brutality and arbitrary arrests.