Maldives crisis: Supreme Court revokes order to free political prisoners

Maldives crisis: Supreme Court revokes order to free political prisoners

The Maldives opposition leader and two Supreme Court judges have been arrested hours after the government declared a state of emergency.

"The prevailing political developments in Maldives and the resultant law and order situation is a matter of concern for the Government of India", the MEA said in a statement.

The government has subsequently declared a state of emergency, followed by the detention of the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

The government has already suspended Parliament and ordered the army to resist any moves by the Supreme Court to impeach the President.

The president of the Maldives says the country's state of emergency was imposed to investigate "this plot, this coup" of a Supreme Court ruling last week ordering the release of imprisoned opposition leaders.

Soldiers forced their way into the Supreme Court building and arrested two of the tribunal's four justices.

Yameen on Sunday refused to accept the Supreme Court order to release political prisoners and reinstate 12 MPs who defected to the opposition. "We must remove him from power".

The 15-day emergency decree issued late on Monday gives the government sweeping powers to make arrests, search and seize property and restricts freedom of assembly, officials said.

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This is the second time Yameen has declared a state of Emergency. However, the Maldives Police Service has said that there was evidence that could implicate Saeed and Hameed. He also asked the United States to ensure that all American financial institutions stop all transactions of the Yameen regime's leaders.

"Maldivians have had enough of this criminal and illegal regime", Nasheed said.

But Geng was ambivalent on taking a stand against Yameen who during his visit here in December signed a number of deals permitting Chinese investments and inked the much criticised Free Trade Agreement, raising hackles in India.

The Government of Maldives wishes to assure the Maldivian people and the global community that the safety of all Maldivians and foreigners living in and visiting the Maldives will be ensured, the announcement said.

India had yesterday asked its nationals to defer all nonessential travels to the Indian Ocean nation until further notice.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was "gravely concerned" about the Maldives situation. The island nation has been witnessing political unrest and street protests since Nasheed was convicted in 2015 on terror charges and sentenced to 13 years in jail.

India, China and the United Kingdom have issued travel warnings to the country that is made up of 26 coral atolls and 1,192 individual islands.