Maldives pres establishes committee to free political prisoners

Newly sworn in Maldives president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday has established a committee to free political prisoners.

The four member committee dubbed 'Committee on Releasing Political Detainees' has been established to align with president Solih's efforts to release the detainees who have been criminally charged for political motives, president's office said in a statement.

The committee comprises of the newly appointed home minister, police chief, Attorney General and the president's legal counsel.

"The committee was established on the first day of President Solih’s term, 17 November 2018, in keeping with his electoral pledge to initiate the task on the first day of office," the statement read.

Since Solih's election victory in September most of the jailed opposition officials has either been released or granted bail.

The High Court late September had freed jailed former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom before overturning the bribery conviction of Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim.

Supreme Court meanwhile had also paved the way for self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed's return after the five judge bench effectively ordered the relevant authorities not to arrest him.

In an interim order, the top court said the serving of Nasheed's prison sentence has been temporarily suspended until it reviews his jailing as requested by the country's prosecutor's office.

Nasheed had returned to the Maldives earlier this month after spending three years in self-imposed exile.