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A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives, who resigned earlier this week in what he claims was a coup.
Authorities in the Maldives have issued an arrest warrant for Mohamed Nasheed, the country's former president who resigned earlier this week in what he claims was a coup.
Cell phone footage shown on local TV purported to show Nasheed being led away by riot police (video below), though he is not reported currently to be in custody.
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According to officials from Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), a court issued warrants for both the ex-president and his former defense minister, Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu, the BBC reported.
The charges have not been disclosed. At a press conference on Thursday, the country's new interior minister, Mohamed Jameel, accused Nasheed and his supporters of terrorism and seeking to overthrow the government, Reuters reported. According to the news agency:
"Jameel was author of a pamphlet criticizing Nasheed's religious policy as un-Islamic which included anti-Semitic language, part of a spate of increasingly hardline Islamist rhetoric that has entered the Maldives political discourse."
The Maldives' new president, Mohammed Waheed Hassan, told the BBC he had ordered police not to arrest his predecessor unless it became necessary for Nasheed's own safety.
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Nasheed said he feared for his life and those of his family, Xinhua news agency reported. "They want to arrest me and the situation is turning worse," he told an Indian TV network, adding that his family had fled to Sri Lanka.
He also claimed that some 250 MDP supporters had been arrested.
Speaking from his house in the capital, Male, earlier today, according to Reuters, he said: "The facts on the ground are that tomorrow I will be in jail." The interior minister "has pledged [I will be] the first former president to spend all my life in jail," Nasheed claimed.
The former president's supporters vandalized more than 18 police stations yesterday across the Maldives' islands, according to police. Nasheed denies ordering the violence.
Amnesty International also reports receiving accounts of security forces beating Nasheed and his supporters during a peaceful demonstration in Male on Wednesday.