Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mohamed Nasheed

Mohamed Nasheed (Dhivehi: މުހައްމަދު ނަޝީދު) (born May 17, 1967) is a Maldivian politician and the founder of the Maldivian Democratic Party, who served as the 4th President of the Maldives from 2008 to 2012. He was a presidential candidate in the October 2008 election in which he defeated long-time President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the second round. He was sworn in as President on November 11, 2008. He resigned on February 7, 2012, following weeks of public protests. Nasheed was held in prison for an article in the political magazine Sangu, published in 1990, in which he alleged the Maldivian government had rigged the 1989 general election. Because of his imprisonment, he was made an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience in 1991.

After being held in solitary confinement and reportedly tortured, he was accused of withholding information about a bombing plot. On April 8, 1992, he was sentenced to three years in prison on that charge. He was released in June 1993, then re-arrested in 1994 and 1995. In 1996 he was sentenced to two years imprisonment for an article he had written about the 1993 and 1994 Maldivian elections.

Nasheed resigned on 7 February 2012 following weeks of protests after he ordered the military to arrest Abdulla Mohamed, the Chief Justice of the Criminal Court, on January 16. Maldives police joined the protesters after refusing to fire on them and took over the state-owned television station, forcibly switching the broadcast to opposition party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's call for people to come out to protest. The Maldavian Army then clashed with police and other protesters who tried to invade the headquarters of the Maldives National Defence Force.

Vice President Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik, who opposed Abdulla Mohamed's arrest, was sworn as the new president of Maldives.

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