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India dismayed over long prison terms to former Maldivian prez, chief justice

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

today expressed its "deep dismay" over a sentencing the island nation's former and the of its to long prison terms without a "fair trial".

The said the development casts a doubt on the Maldivian government's commitment to uphold the rule of law and will raise questions on the credibility of the in that country, slated for September.

According to Maldivian media reports, Gayoom, 80, and were handed similar prison terms of one year, seven months and six days by a court which found them guilty of obstructing justice.

In a statement, the MEA said reiterated its "advice" to the Maldivian to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by immediately releasing political prisoners, including Gayoom and the

Since the beginning of the political crisis in the Maldives, the ministry said, has repeatedly urged the Maldivian to allow all institutions, including its and Parliament, to function in an independent manner and permit genuine political dialogue between all political parties.

"This has also been the demand of the international community at large. It is, therefore, with deep dismay that we learned that the former of the as well as the chief justice of the are being sentenced to long prison terms without fair trial," it said in a statement.

"This casts doubt on the commitment of the of the to uphold the rule of law and will also call into question the credibility of the entire process of in September this year," the MEA said.

It said India believes that a democratic, stable and prosperous is in the interests of all its neighbours in the

"It reiterates its advice to the to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by immediately releasing political prisoners including former Gayoom and Chief Justice and creating the necessary conditions for the participation of all political forces in the Presidential Elections," the ministry said.

Ties between India and Maldives nosedived after Maldivian President declared emergency on February 5, following an order by the Supreme Court to release a group of Opposition leaders who had been convicted in widely-criticised trials.

On February 21, India reacted strongly over the extension of emergency by a month. The emergency was lifted 45 days later.

In February, Maldives declined India's invitation to participate in the eight-day mega naval exercise - - from March 6-13.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 11:35 IST