Mohamed Nasheed, former president of Maldives and current opposition leader, was arrested Sunday under an anti-terrorism law, according to media reports. The arrest was reportedly made on charges related to Nasheed's order to arrest a senior judge in January 2012.
The case against Nasheed was dropped last week, but an arrest warrant against him was issued on Sunday under new charges of terrorism, according to media reports. Authorities also ordered him to stand trial in connection with the case.
"I call on the public to do all that is necessary to stop the harassment meted out to me and other politicians to save Maldives," Nasheed reportedly said, while being taken to a detention centre. Nasheed’s supporters protested in the capital city of Male following his arrest and his party also called for his release.
Nasheed, who was the country's first democratically elected leader, came to power in 2008. He stepped down in February 2012 after weeks of public protests against his order to arrest Abdulla Mohamed, chief judge of the Criminal Court. Mohamed was charged with corruption, but later released.
In 2013, Nasheed lost the presidential election to current President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, who is a half-brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom -- a leader who ruled over the nation for 30 years and was widely accused of being an autocrat.
Nasheed's party described his arrest as "a desperate and reckless attempt by President Yameen to cling onto power in the face of growing opposition,” according to BBC.