Government accuses Maldives over recent moves

Having endured similar challenges in its recent past, the new Sri Lankan Government is committed to the principles of democracy, good governance and the rule of law. Sri Lanka is also concerned by the impact of the State of Emergency on the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the Maldives and urges the Government of the Maldives to uphold the commitments it has made – including as a member of the Commonwealth and signatory to the Commonwealth Charter – to the universal and Commonwealth values of democracy and the rule of law. The Government today accused the Maldives of using Sri Lanka to initiate questionable action against political and social media activists.The Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about recent developments in the Maldives and events that have impacted on Sri Lanka, including the recent arrest of two Sri Lankan nationals in the Maldives, the questionable removal of a Maldivian social media activist who was in possession of a valid Sri Lankan visa, the stabbing of a Maldivian national in Sri Lanka, as well as the state of emergency that has been declared in the Maldives and the impeachment of the Vice-President. “We also believe that the right to dissent is an integral part of a functioning democracy. Unlike the previous regime in Sri Lanka which silenced dissenting voices in the guise of fighting terrorism, the new administration is committed to the fundamentals of democracy,” the Foreign Ministry said.It is in this context that the Government finds it deeply disturbing that Sri Lanka, a country which has always maintained the closest friendly relations with the Maldives is being used to initiate questionable action against political and social media activists. Sri Lanka encourages the Government of the Maldives to ensure that recent developments are not allowed to escalate into a source of regional instability. Sri Lanka hopes that the Maldives will take steps to end the state of emergency, initiate measures to respect and protect freedom of expression and ensure that recent developments will not reverse Maldives’ hard-won democratic achievements. read more

British mother faces jail in Dubai for calling exhusband an idiot in

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The offending Facebook posts, published in 2016Credit:Detained in Dubai The offending Facebook posts, published in 2016 The Foreign Office said it was supporting the mother-of-one, who is the first British woman known to have been arrested for posting offensive content on social media from outside the UAE.Ms Sharavesh was married to her Portuguese husband Pedro Manuel Coreia Dos Santos for 18 years. They had one daughter together, called Paris.The couple lived in Dubai for eight months, during which time she worked for HSBC. Ms Sharavesh and Paris returned to London several years ago, but her husband did not follow and the two eventually divorced.It is claimed the first she knew of his new marriage was when she opened Facebook and saw pictures of Mr Dos Santos and his bride. Flushed with anger, Ms Sharavesh allegedly wrote in Farsi: “I hope you go under the ground you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse.” A British mother is facing jail in Dubai after branding her ex-husband an “idiot” and his new wife a “horse” on Facebook, campaigners say.Laleh Sharavesh, 55, lives in London but was detained by authorities in the United Arab Emirates last month when she attempted to attend the funeral of her former partner.Her arrest stemmed from two Facebook comments she made on pictures of her husband re-marrying in 2016, which his new wife sent to police, according to Campaign group Detained in Dubai.She had been in Britain when she posted the comments, but her ex-husband and his wife were living in Dubai.Under the cybercrime laws of the desert kingdom, someone can be jailed for making defamatory comments online, even if they were not in the country at the time.It means Ms Sharavesh could now face a jail sentence of up to two years and a fine of £50,000, the campaign group said.She has been forced to remain in Dubai in a hotel as she awaits a court appearance, losing her job and plunging into debt in the process, it is claimed.Her passport has also been confiscated and her 14-year-old daughter had to fly home by herself. She said: “I am not allowed to leave Dubai. I have been to court once, where I was not allowed to defend myself. And a police station where we were kept waiting for 12 hours without any progress.“I am terrified. I can’t sleep or eat. I have gone down two dress sizes because of the stress.“My daughter cries herself to sleep every night. We are so close, especially since her father left us and we only have each other. It breaks my heart to be kept apart from her.” read more