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David Cameron urges reform in the Maldives after meeting ousted president

Published 23/01/2016

Mohamed Nasheed was ousted as president
Mohamed Nasheed was ousted as president

David Cameron has pledged to continue pushing for reforms in the Maldives after the country's ousted president, flanked by Amal Clooney, took his fight for freedom to Downing Street.

Mohamed Nasheed and the human rights lawyer, who is married to Hollywood film star George Clooney, joined the Prime Minister for talks in No 10 to call for continued pressure against the regime.

The country's first democratically-elected leader, who claimed he was deposed at gunpoint and was later jailed for 13 years under anti-terror laws, has been allowed to travel to Britain for surgery on his spinal cord.

At a meeting of 53 Commonwealth countries in November, Mr Cameron urged leaders to toughen up their approach to the Maldives over the ''unacceptable'' actions of its government.

Ministers from the group will visit the Maldives next month and are expected to send a "strong message" on the need to free all remaining political prisoners.

The Maldivian government has always denied that Mr Nasheed was ousted in a military coup.

Downing Street said Mr Cameron will continue to highlight concerns about the regime's actions.

A spokesman said: " They agreed that, while Mr Nasheed's release was a positive step, more needed to be done and it was important for the Maldivian government to maintain momentum, which was necessary if real change is to be delivered."

He added: "T he Prime Minister told Mr Nasheed that the UK would continue to raise concerns about the erosion of democracy and wider situation in the Maldives and it would also continue to discuss the situation with international partners, including how best the international community can make its concerns clear to the Maldivian government."

Mr Nasheed's brother is acting as guarantor on an undertaking that the former premier will return to the Maldives within 30 days.

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