Maldives ex-president Mohamed Nasheed will not to travel to the United Kingdom for surgery, for which he had received President Abdula Yameen's approval, as the Maldivian government has reportedly demanded that a family member be made guarantor till his return.
The Maldives president had on Saturday allowed Nasheed's travel to the UK for a spinal cord surgery after a similar request had reportedly been rejected two months ago.
However, on Sunday, Nasheed's London-based daughter Meera Laila said on Facebook her father "will not be coming to the UK" as he had not agreed to the government taking a "hostage" who could be made criminally liable if the ex-president failed to return in 30 days, Maldives Independent reported.
Nasheed, who was the country's first democratically elected president, is in jail serving a 13-year jail term on a terrorism conviction after he was ousted from power in 2012.
His lawyers have now accused the Maldives government of reneging on the agreement to allow him to travel abroad for surgery.
"The issue here is with an agreement Nasheed's family member has to sign. The document says Nasheed's family member agrees to stay in Malé, and to seek permission from Maldives Correctional Services to leave Malé, and also agrees to having criminal charges filed against them if any provision in the document is violated," Nasheed's lawyer said at a press conference on Sunday, according to the local newspaper.
On Monday, Maldive's Foreign Affairs Ministry put out a tweet stating that it was "disappointed" over Nasheed's decision. "The Government of Maldives is disappointed by the refusal of former President Nasheed to travel to UK for surgery, as requested by himself (sic)," the ministry said.
The United Nations had sought Nasheed's release after ruling last year that he was not given a fair trial. President Yameen, however, did not heed to the UN.
The Maldivian government's decision to allow Nasheed to leave the country for surgery was reportedly taken after pressure from India and Sri Lanka.
The Government of Maldives is disappointed by the refusal of former President Nasheed to travel to UK for surgery, as requested by himself— MFA-Maldives (@MDVForeign) January 18, 2016