Leader of Adhaalath party convicted on charge of inciting unrest for staging rally against jailing of dissidents under President Abdulla Yameen.
A court in the Maldives has sentenced the leader of the country’s main Islamist party to 12 years in jail after convicting him on a terrorism charge.
Sheikh Imran Abdulla of the opposition Adhaalath party (AP) was charged under a tough 1990 anti-terrorism law with inciting unrest during an anti-government rally in May 2015 on the capital island, Male.
Tight security was on hand at the criminal court as a judge read out the sentence during a night time sitting on Tuesday. Abdulla’s lawyers said they would appeal to a higher court.
Imran’s party joined the main opposition Maldivian Democratic party in May 2015 to stage a mass rally to protest against the jailing of dissidents by the government of President Abdulla Yameen.
Following the demonstration about 175 people, including Sheikh Imran, were arrested by the police.
Imran’s imprisonment came 11 months after the highly controversial jailing of the country’s main opposition leader, Mohamed Nasheed, who in January obtained prison leave to have urgent surgery in London.
Yameen is under intense international pressure to free Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected president.