Friday, 23 February, 2018

State of emergency declared in Maldives as opposition…

Opposition supporters outside the Supreme Court in Male after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency Opposition supporters outside the Supreme Court in Male after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency
Andrew Cummings | 07 February, 2018, 01:24

A day after the President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen put in place a 15 day "State of Emergency" on Monday, and the Chief Justice of Maldives was arrested, exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed on Tuesday reached out to India for "physical presence" and aid.

The President's office said the court order to release prisoners was overstepping the mark and was an "infringement of national security and public interest".

Yameen had earlier defied a Supreme Court ruling that nine jailed opposition leaders must be released.

With Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declaring a state of emergency amid a political crisis in the country, the Indian government on Monday cautioned citizens against travelling to the Maldives.

The two justices were taken into police custody under accusations of graft.

Last week, the Maldivian Supreme Court acquitted former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldivian Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and ordered the reinstatement of the 12 other parliamentary members.

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".

Nasheed has called for Yameen to be removed from power.

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Eva Abdulla, an opposition lawmaker, said the state of emergency "only serves to show an isolated man who no longer has the confidence of the Maldivian people and independent institutions", and called for the immediate resignation of Yameen.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was "gravely concerned" about the Maldives situation.

"This state of emergency is the only way I can determine how deep this plot, this coup, goes", Yameen said. He also asked the USA to ensure that all American financial institutions stop all transactions of the Yameen regime's leaders. "So I have asked the police and the army not to implement any unconstitutional order", Anil said. Gayoom is the half-brother of President Yameen.

"The world's eyes are on the Maldives right now and human rights must not become a casualty of this ongoing crisis".

The United Nations, Australia, Britain, Canada, India and the United States have welcomed the court's decision as a move towards restoring democracy in the politically troubled Indian Ocean nation.

In 2015 he was convicted under the anti-terrorism act of Maldives and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

According to industry estimates, around 60, 000 Indians travel to Maldives every year and October to March being the peak season now 4500 Indian tourists are estimated to be present at the island nation.

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