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03/05/2013

Maldives' ex-president arrested again

Maldives’ former president, best known for holding the world’s first underwater cabinet meeting in 2009, was arrested in the capital of Male on Tuesday. 

A local court had ordered the police to arrest Nasheed after he missed a Feb. 10 court appearance in a case relating to accusations he illegally detained a judge in the last days of his rule. He took refuge in the Indian embassy but left 10 days ago after being assured he would be okay.

Nasheed, Maldives’ first elected leader, left office last year in unclear circumstances. His supporters say he was ousted in a coup.

The Maldives held its first free elections in 2008. Nasheed defeated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had ruled for 30 years and was accused of running the country as a dictator.

Nasheed entered the Indian embassy on Feb. 13 and left 10 days later on the understanding he would be able to conduct “peaceful political activity.”

The former president shot into fame when he held the world’s first underwater cabinet meeting in 2009.  

Politicians donned scuba gear for 30-minute meeting, just ahead of UN climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Nasheed was well-known for voicing fears that the archipelago would be swamped by raising sea levels unless action was taken to reduce carbon emissions.

Raveena Aulakh is the Toronto Star's environment reporter. She is intrigued by climate change and its impact, now and long-term. Follow her on Twitter @raveenaaulakh

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