Vice President Adeeb was arrested on 24th of October on his return from the China Maldives Investment Forum and has been permanently detained under sub-human conditions since.

He was ostensibly charged by his cabinet colleague, the Minister for Home Affairs, with ‘high treason’.   The Vice President is absolutely innocent of all such charges and if afforded the protection of the constitution will vigorously defend himself and will be vindicated by any fair judicial process.

He was elected by the members of the Progressive Party of Maldives with unprecedented support. Since then he has worked tirelessly with his colleagues to deliver a better Maldives, one that is delivering development, prosperity and growth for our young population.

He has never demonstrated anything but loyalty to his party and his President.  In party terms, he has been a determined activist, raising funds for campaigns and supporting party activities.  For his President he has been steadfast in his support and has been instrumental in the achievements made so far by Government.

He has achieved this alongside his colleagues in the PPM for whom he has been a loyal servant throughout. He did not seek to impeach the President at any time. The suggestion is merely meant to discredit him.

Process and motivation

It is the duty of the prosecutor to find evidence before detention.

The fact that the investigation is itself being conducted by the Minister of Home Affairs who claims to have a professional competence in such matters clearly indicates that the process lacks any form of independence.  The absence of a separation between the political and investigative processes reveals an intention to silence Vice President Adeeb for political reasons.

The Minister for Home Affairs has recently shown an inappropriate degree of hostility towards his Vice President both publicly and privately.  His public comments are nothing less than a personal attack.  This is not the first time that he has been so calculated in his attack of colleagues.

Many will recall the unfortunate and relentless attacks upon the President himself when they were running against each other for office.  He afterwards excused himself by saying that it was just “Political rhetoric” and excused his attacks by saying “you use every tool you have”.

It would appear that he has once again brought out every tool that he has to achieve his aims, with the difference this time that he holds the office of Minister and that he is also directing the investigation against his opponent.  This is no longer political rhetoric but abuse of office – silencing the Vice President by holding him in prison while attacking him in public is not just unfair, but a complete injustice.  It would also seem premature to declare ‘victory’ whether national or personal without due process and allowing a man to speak to defend himself.  Statements of this nature are undignified and unbecoming of a member of this Government.

It is becoming increasingly obvious to the Vice President that he and some of his colleagues in the performance of their duties have disturbed the traditional power structures within the country.  A dedication to shared prosperity, unity, youth empowerment and moderation has begun to shift influence away from these families and return it to the people.

Today’s new policy announcement of summary “Termination” of new members to PPM is breathtakingly short-sighted in the Vice President’s opinion.  What the Minister for Home Affairs fails to understand is that without new energy, new ideas and new members, our party will end up simply as a party of old ideas and old ways.  To hold such views is one thing, but to publicly air them with pride is destructive to the PPM.

As has been often witnessed before, a pattern of rough justice and political silencing is once again being used to exclude a Vice President.

International dimension 

Serious concerns are raised about the recent communication issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is extremely misleading to suggest that President Yameen will ensure that the Vice President’s rights as a citizen will be protected.  Hearings so far have taken place in a hastily assembled courtroom inside the prison where he is incarcerated. He and his legal team do not have direct access to the court due to the failure of the primitive arrangements in place to hear his arguments remotely.

It seems increasingly likely that the draconian measures rushed through Parliament this week under the auspices of an Anti-terrorism bill may be used for the further suppression of political opponents.

The Vice President asks the International Community to closely monitor the situation as it evolves, although statements made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs when she is abroad are not a reflection of the reality at home.

Future

The Maldives has reached a critical point in its short history as a sovereign nation and republic. One clan cannot be allowed to sacrifice our future in a desperate effort to cling to power.

Vice President Adeeb remains dedicated to the ideals of democracy in the Republic of Maldives as described in its constitution.  In this context, he asserts that it is both his duty and the duty of the President to protect and defend the constitution.

The Vice President assures the people of the Maldives and the international community that upon his release, he will immediately return to rebuilding the country and its economy, and strengthening civil society.  He insists that a new Maldives that holds true to the ideals expressed in the constitution can be achieved through unity.