Maldives chief claims supreme courtroom order was a part of…

Katrina Barker
February 7, 2018

Mohamed Nasheed, the country's exiled former president, urged neighbouring India on Tuesday to send "an envoy, backed by its military" to free two Supreme Court judges and a former president who were arrested in the capital Male after the emergency declaration.

In an apparent response to the statement, the Supreme Court said in a news release that "there are no obstacles in implementing the ruling and releasing political prisoners and that this has been informed to the Prosecutor General's office".

Yameen did not honour the court orders and declared emergency on Monday night, giving special powers to forces to make arrests and bar public gatherings. "But when the chief justice were pushing for these things beyond his mandate or jurisdiction, we had to take it seriously".

But he faces mounting pressure at home and from the United States and India to release former President Mohamed Nasheed from a 13-year jail sentence and free eight other opponents from prison.

His estranged half-brother, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has sided with the opposition, was also detained in the early hours of Tuesday.

Since the decision last week ordering the release of imprisoned opposition leaders, Mr Yameen has continually hit out at the Supreme Court.

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. Yameen accused judges of plotting to overthrow him and said the emergency was imposed to investigate this plot. India said that the "prevailing political developments in Maldives and the resultant law and order situation is a matter of concern".

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

On Twitter, Nasheed asked India to send military assistance and for the United States to stop financial transactions of Maldives leaders.

According to the SOP, the troops are kept ready to meet any eventuality, crisis or requirement for help, sources said, adding there is nothing unusual about such SOPs.

"We are working on making sure we can respect the Supreme Court order in a way that doesn't cause any difficulties to the people", he said at a rally in his support organised by his party.

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

With the tourism industry being central to the economy, Maldives has been experiencing a bout of bad coverage in the past few days and travel advisories being issued from foreign countries.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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