The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) commemorated its 12th anniversary yesterday, an occasion that would typically be a day of celebration and reflection. However, it's marred by the ongoing incarceration of the party's leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. His prolonged imprisonment casts a somber shadow over the festivities and raises serious questions about the current state of democracy and justice in the Maldives.
Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, former vice president of the former presidency, and also a part of President Yameen's lawyers team, recently voiced his concerns about the treatment of President Yameen. In a post on social media platform X, Dr. Jameel drew attention to the former president's continued confinement and argued that he has been unjustly tried and persecuted. Such a significant political figure's treatment undoubtedly requires scrutiny, especially when it appears to be based on what some describe as trumped-up charges or political motivations.
October 1, 2023, marked a significant event. Former President Yameen, who had been serving an 11-year prison sentence, was transferred to his residence, H. Dhoovehi. While this move might appear as a small concession, it was met with an outpouring of relief and jubilation from the PPM-PNC coalition and supporters who gathered in large numbers near his residence. This massive show of support is a testament to the former president's lasting influence and underscores the widespread belief in his unjust treatment.
The level of alleged interference is a succumbing prospect, suggesting that the scales of justice are being tipped by political power. The opposition coalition, comprised of the PPM and PNC, has been vocal in its accusations against the government. They believe that the government is manipulating the judiciary with a clear agenda: to delay President Yameen's trial and, by extension, deny him his election rights. While every citizen deserves a just trial and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, it seems former President Yameen's case is being tried in the court of political convenience rather than that of justice.