Maldivian opposition leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed (Center left) is escorted by poilice after arrested on an island, Maldives, Oct. 8, 2012. Mohamed Nasheed was arrested on Monday following a court order, a party official said. (Xinhua)
MALE, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Maldivian opposition leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed was arrested on Monday following a court order, a party official said.
The Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) said that Nasheed was arrested and taken away by the police while he was taking part in a political rally on an island.
"He was arrested in a very brutal manner by the police from the building where he was temporarily staying on the Faresmathoda Atoll. Three of our party legislators accompanied him with the police. He was put on a boat and taken away to the capital," MDP spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told Xinhua.
A local court had on Sunday issued a warrant to arrest Nasheed over a case filed by the family of Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed who was arrested and detained when Nasheed was president.
The MDP alleged that the court order was politically motivated to invalidate Nasheed's candidacy for the elections scheduled to be held next year and to deliberately disrupt the MDP's presidential campaign.
However Imad Masood, spokesman for the Maldivian president, rejected claims that the arrest was politically motivated.
"This is completely a judicial issue and there is no politics involved. He was taken by the police in a comfortable boat. He was not handcuffed. We usually don't get involved in police matters but we have ensured that he is treated properly. He is not being treated like a prisoner," Masood told Xinhua.
The MDP earlier said it was deeply disturbed and worried by the court warrant issued to arrest the Party's Presidential Candidate and the Maldives' first democratically elected president, Mohamed Nasheed, and produce him to a widely disputed court.
"We are currently on presidential campaign trail by boats in the Southern atolls. This trip has been organized for months and immediately after the dates of the trip were announced, the courts decided to summon our candidate to a court that is unlawfully established. Leading experts and lawyers have questioned the legitimacy of this court," the MDP said in a statement.