Maldives: Emergency declared, SC Judges, former President Abdul Ghayoom detained

Marsha Scott
February 7, 2018

He ordered Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another of the Supreme Court's four judges arrested early Tuesday.

"We believe the Maldives government and political parties have the wisdom and the capability to deal with the current situation on their own", Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said during his regular media briefing.

Hours after the emergency was declared, security forces arrested two Supreme Court justices and a former ruler who is now an opposition leader.

Newly sworn in High Court judge is greeted by Supreme Court judges' bench.

The Maldives has been plunged into a political crisis following Thursday's court ruling.

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen announced a state of emergency for the archipelago, which will last for 15 days, the World Agencies have reported.

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

The country's chief justice of the Supreme Court and a former president were arrested as the political crisis worsens in the Indian Ocean nation.

Security forces on Monday arrested opposition leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on charges that include bribery and attempting to overthrow the government, his lawyer, Maumoon Hameed, said on Twitter.

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"A state of emergency can not be used to carry out what appears to be a purge of the Supreme Court and the opposition".

When asked about whether India is considering Nasheed's request, an official said, "All I can say is that the government continues to monitor the situation".

"You should avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations", the USA embassy in Colombo said in its updated travel advice on Tuesday.

The top court had not rescinded the part of the order which quashed its anti-defection ruling ordering the country's electoral watchdog to re-instate the dozen government lawmakers disqualified over the ruling.

Mr Gayoom was president from 1978 until 2008, when the Maldives became a multi-party democracy.

It also paves the way for Mohamed Nasheed to return and run for President.

President Abdulla Yameen's regime has also suspended the constitutional rights of people. Police used pepper spray to disperse hundreds of protesters who had gathered outside the court. Nasheed later fled to Britain and received asylum.

The court also ruled the 2015 conviction of another former president, Mohamed Nasheed, under the Anti-Terrorism Act to be unconstitutional.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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