Maldives quits Commonwealth over rights row MALE: The Maldives angrily quit the Commonwealth on Thursday after years of wrangling over its human rights record since the toppling of its first democratically elected leader four years ago.
The troubled honeymoon island nation said it had been treated “unjustly and unfairly” by the bloc, a voluntary association of more than 50 countries, mostly former territories of the British empire.
“The decision to leave the Commonwealth was difficult, but inevitable,” said a statement from the foreign ministry.
The former British protectorate has come under intense international pressure since the controversial conviction of former president Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism charges.
The Commonwealth put Male on notice after Nasheed stood down as president in February 2012 and said he had been forced out in a coup.
It has since criticised the government over its crackdown on dissidents and its controversial judiciary, and sent a special envoy to try to improve the archipelago’s rights record.
In its statement on Thursday, the Maldives, which had previously threatened to pull out of the bloc, accused the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat of interfering in its affairs.
“The Commonwealth has sought to become an active participant in the domestic political discourse in the Maldives, which is contrary to the principles of the charters of the UN and the Commonwealth,” it said.