The Maldives government has invited the United Nations and other international organizations to observe the former president's appeal of his 13-year jail sentence.

The United States, European Union and others have raised concerns about the court process that found Mohamed Nasheed guilty of ordering the arrest of a senior judge when he was in office three years ago. The court said the arrest was akin to abduction under the country's terrorism law.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that it has invited the United Nations and the Commonwealth to send representatives to observe the appeal hearing.

Nasheed's lawyers must appeal the sentence by Sunday. His supporters say the court ruling was politically motivated.