Unrest erupted Tuesday in the Maldives after its former president was arrested, the latest turn in a disputed case that his backers say is meant to stop him from campaigning for reelection.
Police said Mohamed Nasheed was taken into custody Tuesday on charges of illegally arresting a chief judge during his presidency and that a hearing was scheduled for Wednesday. Nasheed had holed up last month in the Indian Embassy to avoid arrest, spending a week and a half in the building before leaving.
His sacking of the judge led to weeks of turmoil before Nasheed stepped down, ending his term as the Maldives' first democratically elected president. Nasheed and his supporters said he was forced to resign amid an armed coup engineered by forces loyal to the country's former autocracy. A national commission rejected that claim in August, spurring more protests in the divided nation.
Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party decried his arrest as “politically motivated” and said police had not produced an arrest warrant.
President Mohammed Waheed Hassan, “in collusion with his friends in the judiciary, is pulling out all the stops to prevent President Nasheed competing in the elections,” the party said in a statement Tuesday.