The former president of the Maldives was charged Monday with illegally ordering the arrest of a senior judge, escalating tensions on the Indian ocean island nation.
Mohamed Nasheed, Maldives’ first democratically elected president, had sought to launch a corruption probe in January asked the army to arrest the judge who was allegedly blocking the investigation.
The order triggered widespread protests that led to Mr. Nasheed’s resignation on Feb. 7. He was replaced by his deputy, Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik.
Mr. Nasheed told The Washington Times in an interview late last month that he was forced to resign following what he described as a coup by Islamic radicals, the police and the military.
However, the Obama administration has not acknowledged that Mr. Nasheed was ousted in a coup and has recognized the legitimacy of Mr. Manik’s government.
Amnesty International said the case against Mr. Nasheed appeared to be politically motivated.
The government has also cracked down on Mr. Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party. The former president’s supporters have taken to the streets of the Maldivian capital, Male, demanding early elections. The government says the earliest date that elections can be held under the country’s constitution is July 2013.
A Commission of National Inquiry, which is investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr. Nasheed’s resignation, is expected to publish its report on July 31.
Mr. Nasheed ended Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s 30-year-rule when he won the presidential election in 2008.