Maldives top court reverses dissidents' release

Marie Harrington
February 7, 2018

The President of the Maldives has declared a state of emergency in order to investigate a "coup" - with the country's opposition leader and two senior judges placed under arrest.

On Monday morning, Yameen wrote three letters to the Supreme Court explaining the challenges being faced in implementing the court order.

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after the government declared a state of emergency. Security forces stormed the Supreme Court complex to take the jurists into custody.

The crisis, which has included repeated rounds of clashes between police and opposition protesters, began when the Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that that all politicians opposed to Yameen, including Nasheed, be released.

Speaking on national television on Tuesday, President Yameen Abdul Gayoom said the court's actions are "an obstruction of the very ability of this state to function".

"We had to find out how thick the plot or coup was", he said, adding that the chief justice was trying to illegally impeach him and sack the attorney general.

Soon after the emergency declaration on Monday evening, soldiers forced their way into the Supreme Court building, a spokesman for the court said on Twitter.

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President Yameen has declared emergency state for 15 days and suspended as many as 20 constitutional rights for the duration along with the criminal procedure Act and several articles of the judicature Act. "I have not done anything to be arrested", he said.

Without directly commenting on the United Nations, the U.S. and India's criticism of the handling of situation by Yameen, Geng said China believes that the Maldives government, political parties and people have the wisdom and the capability to deal with their current situation on their own.

Yameen has run the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, with an iron hand since 2013.

He also called on the USA to stop Maldives government officials from making transactions through U.S. banks. Global and domestic flights, seaplanes and all modes of transport are in operation, the Maldives government said on February 6.

India has asked the "Government of Maldives to respect and abide by the order of the apex court" and said it "wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives".

Nasheed was jailed on terrorism charges but was allowed to go to Britain for medical treatment in January 2016.

Malé, Maldives: Amnesty International on Tuesday called for the immediate release of top judges detained in the Maldives, warning the "eyes of the world" were on the worsening crisis in the troubled islands.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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