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Maldives court orders release of political prisoners

The Supreme Court of the Maldives ordered the release of all top political prisoners Thursday and lifted exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed's terrorism conviction. The surprise ruling clears the way for Nasheed to return to his homeland and run for reelection against President Abdulla Yameen. The atoll nation's popular image as an upmarket holiday paradise had been severely damaged by a major crackdown on dissent under Yameen, who has overseen the jailing of almost all the political opposition.
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