India 'disturbed' by declaration of emergency in Maldives

Glen Norman
February 7, 2018

In a statement released on Tuesday, the three judges not placed under arrest said they were rescinding the order to free Mr Yameen's opponents "in light of the concerns raised by the President".

The main political rival to the president of the Maldives has called on India to send an envoy - backed by its military - to free imprisoned Supreme Court justices and opposition leaders, as political turmoil battered the Indian Ocean nation.

The president of the Maldives on Tuesday accused judges of plotting to overthrow him, hours after he declared a state of emergency and ordered the arrest of the chief justice.


"We issued a travel advisory warning our nationals against the non-essential travel and we are evaluating the developments including the security situation", said the official.

"In the spirit of democracy and rule of law, it is imperative for all organs of the government of Maldives to respect and abide by the order of the apex court", the External Affairs said in a statement.

Mr Yameen said: "This state of emergency is the only way I can determine how deep this plot, this coup, goes".


"President Yameen has systematically alienated his coalition, jailed or exiled every major opposition political figure, deprived elected members of parliament of their right to represent their voters in the legislature, revised laws to erode human rights. and weakened the institutions of government", the US State Department said in a statement. The state of emergency gives a range of powers to the security forces to make arrests and ban public gatherings.

"The decision of the Supreme Court of the Maldives to annul criminal proceedings against leading politicians and admit unfair trials against them is a positive step towards restoring the democratic principles in the country", it read.

On February 1, the Supreme Court had ordered the government to revoke terrorism charges against nine Opposition leaders, including exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed.


With the political crisis in the Maldives showing no signs of abating, the chief justice has reportedly also received threats to his life via anonymous telephone calls. The Yameen government refused to implement the ruling, prompting a wave of protests in Maldives capital, Male. Gayoom, the half-brother of the country's former leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has crushed the Opposition in the Maldives by targeting high-profile leaders.

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