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Maldives court releases 5 political prisoners

ANI | Updated: Sep 25, 2018 16:26 IST

Male [Maldives], Sept 24 (ANI): A Maldivian criminal court on Monday freed five political prisoners who were arrested during the period of emergency rule earlier this year.
The release came after opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, emerged victorious in Maldivian presidential elections on September 25, beating Abdulla Yameen. According to the provincial results announced by the Maldivian Election Commission, Solih garnered 134,616 votes while Yameen secured 96,132 votes only. Official results are scheduled to be announced before September 30.
The court released Members of Parliament (MPs) Ilham Ahmed and Abdulla Sinan, police chief Ahmed Areef, former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's son-in-law Mohamed Nadheem and deputy leader of the opposition Jumhooree Party Abdulla Riyaz, Maldives Independent reported.
The five people were arrested on charges of terrorism during the state of emergency imposed by outgoing Maldivian President Yameen in February to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed the convictions of nine opposition leaders.
However, Gayoom, his son Faris Maumoon, former chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, former justice Ali Hameed, and former judicial administrator Hassan Saeed were not released. Gayoom's family have been trying to get him transferred to house arrest due to age and health-related issues.
Meanwhile, Maldives' first democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed, who lives in self-exile in Sri Lanka, will return to the country "very soon", the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said. Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment over terrorism charges in 2015. (ANI)