Clooney arrived in the Maldives Monday to meet with former president Nasheed

By Sheila Cosgrove Baylis
Updated September 07, 2015 07:45 PM
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Credit: STR/AFP/Getty

Amal Clooney has begun her work in the Maldives.

Clooney, 37, arrived Monday and plans to meet with former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, who is being held in Maafushi Jail.

The international law and human rights attorney is defending Nasheed, who was charged with terrorism and sentenced to 13 years in prison after a much-debated trial. Nasheed is the nation’s first democratically elected president.

Clooney has pleaded for his release, writing in The Guardian that his detention is “arbitrary and in violation of international law.”

“President Nasheed’s unjust imprisonment has led to the largest protest movement in Maldivian history, and protesters have in turn been added to the list of political prisoners in the country,” said Clooney in a statement. “My co-counsel and I will continue to pursue all legal and diplomatic strategies to secure our client’s release, including through the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.”

After her work in the Maldives has concluded, Clooney and her co-counsel Jared Genser will head to Sri Lanka and India for additional meetings.