Colombo. The first democratically elected President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, returned home on Thursday after more than two years in exile to escape a long prison term.
As the plane carrying him from Sri Lanka landed in Maldives’ capital Male, he was welcomed by his party members and supporters as reported by AP.
He planned to address his supporters later in the day. Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in jail in 2015 after being convicted of terrorism for ordering the arrest of a top judge in 2012 while he was President.
His trial was criticised internationally for lack of due process, along with those of many other political opponents jailed by strongman President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration.
Nasheed’s return follows Yameen’s defeat in the September 23 presidential election by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, candidate of Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party.
Since Yameen’s defeat, courts have freed or granted bail to some of the jailed officials.