Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has been sentenced to 13 years in prison on a conviction of terrorism.
A three-judge panel ruled Friday in a rushed trial that Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected president, ordered the illegal arrest of a chief justice when he was in office in January of 2012.
Nasheed's supporters say the trial was politically motivated to prevent him from running against incumbent President Yameen Abdul Gayoom in the 2018 election.
In reaction, the U.S. State Department issued a statement Friday expressing concern that the trial was conducted in a manner contrary to Maldivian law, and concerns regarding the lack of impartiality and independence of the judges.
The statement also urged the Maldivian government to ensure former President Nasheed's safety and well being in custody, and hoped all Maldivians would express their views peacefully.
Nasheed was forced to resign in February 2012 and lost a presidential election one year later to Yameen Abdul Gayoom.