Opposition coalition seeks Western assistance to free Pres Yameen

The opposition has sought Western assistance in freeing their jailed leader and former Maldives President, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom.

On December 25 last year, the Criminal Court found Yameen guilty of money-laundering and bribery and sentenced him to eleven years in jail. The verdict strips him of eligibility to contest the upcoming presidential election. He can contest the election only if a higher court quashes the verdict.

Senior members of the opposition coalition met with EU ambassadors in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Wednesday. The delegation includes Yameen's lead counsel and former Maldives Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, PNC's Vice President, Mohamed Saeed, PPM's Vice President, Ahmed Shiyam, and the opposition coalition's Senator, Hamdhaan Shakeel. Yameen's son, Zayn Abdulla Yameen, was also part of the delegation.

The delegation met with the ambassadors of Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Romania. The opposition coalition said Yameen was imprisoned illegally on false charges and asked the ambassadors for their assistance in seeking justice for President Yameen.

The opposition relayed to the ambassadors that the sentence against President Yameen has threatened Maldives' democracy. The ambassadors were also briefed on the actions of this government to undermine democracy in the country.

President Yameen's regime imprisoned all the then-opposition political leaders and many political figures. When they tried to seek foreign assistance for their release, President Yameen had said it was an internal issue of the Maldives and that foreign parties should not interfere in the country's internal affairs.