World

Human rights lawyer: Ex-president's imprisonment marks turn to extremism by Maldives

  • Amal Clooney of Doughty Street Chambers, legal counsel to Mohamed Nasheed, speaks during a press conference in London, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. The press conference was held following the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention unanimously finding the detention of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed in violation of international law. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Amal Clooney of Doughty Street Chambers, legal counsel to Mohamed Nasheed, speaks during a press conference in London, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. The press conference was held following the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention unanimously finding the detention of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed in violation of international law. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)  (The Associated Press)

  • Amal Clooney, legal counsel to Mohamed Nasheed, speaks during a press conference in London, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. The press conference was held following the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention unanimously finding the detention of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed in violation of international law. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Amal Clooney, legal counsel to Mohamed Nasheed, speaks during a press conference in London, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. The press conference was held following the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention unanimously finding the detention of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed in violation of international law. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015 file photo, Maldives former president Mohamed Nasheed, center, escorted by policemen returns after appearing at the High Court in Male, Maldives. Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney says the imprisonment of former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed symbolizes a turn toward autocracy and extremism by a Muslim nation with the world’s highest per-capita level of recruitment to the Islamic State group. Clooney is part of an international legal team that vowed Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 to apply “relentless” pressure on the Maldives government, seeking international sanctions and travel bans on senior officials until Nasheed is freed. (AP Photo/ Mohamed Sharuhaan, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015 file photo, Maldives former president Mohamed Nasheed, center, escorted by policemen returns after appearing at the High Court in Male, Maldives. Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney says the imprisonment of former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed symbolizes a turn toward autocracy and extremism by a Muslim nation with the world’s highest per-capita level of recruitment to the Islamic State group. Clooney is part of an international legal team that vowed Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 to apply “relentless” pressure on the Maldives government, seeking international sanctions and travel bans on senior officials until Nasheed is freed. (AP Photo/ Mohamed Sharuhaan, File)  (The Associated Press)

A human rights lawyer says the imprisonment of former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed symbolizes a turn toward autocracy and extremism by a Muslim nation with the world's highest per-capita level of recruitment to the Islamic State group.

Amal Clooney is part of an international legal team that vowed Monday to apply "relentless" pressure on the Maldives government, seeking international sanctions and travel bans on senior officials until Nasheed is freed.

Nasheed is serving a 13-year sentence after a court found him guilty of terrorism for ordering the arrest of a senior judge when he was president three years ago.

A U.N. working group ruled last week that Nasheed hadn't received a fair trial and should be released.

Nasheed became the Indian Ocean nation's first democratically-elected president in 2008.