The Maldivian Supreme Court on Tuesday withdrew the order to release nine political dissidents, including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.
In the midst of the current political crisis in the island nation, on February 1 the Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of the nine political leaders and also banned the judicial control body from investigating any case against the highest court.
The latest development came after President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency in the country on Monday, granting wide-ranging powers to security forces in the country, which is reeling under political turmoil under the current administration.
Under the state of emergency, constitutional rights have been suspended and this has nullified any movement of the opposition to accuse him while also stripping the Supreme Court of any authority.
In the few hours since the state of emergency was declared, the police made a series of high-profile arrests, including former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, two high court judges, including the president of the court and the chief judicial administrator .
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the situation in the Maldives and urged the government to maintain the rule of law in the island nation.
Guterres’ statement comes after President Abdulla Yameen ordered a state of emergency in the country and gave broad powers to police and military agencies.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric said: “The Secretary-General urges the Government of the Maldives to uphold the constitution and the rule of law, lift the state of emergency as soon as possible and take all measures to ensure security and the security of the people in the country, including the members of the judiciary. ”
Early in the day, according to media reports, the security forces arrested the superior judge after the declaration of a state of emergency.
Former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed and Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed were arrested by security forces, just hours after President Yameen declared the state of emergency in the country on Monday.
Yameen, who has defied Supreme Court orders, ordered him to free former President Mohamed Nasheed and release eight other political opponents from jail, has granted wide-ranging powers to security forces in the country, which faces widespread protests against the president. .
The opposition and the general public have been imploringly asking President Yameen to resign and allow a new leadership to take the reins.
India was disturbed by the declaration of a state of emergency in the Maldives, after Maldives President Abdulla Yameen refused to comply with the Supreme Court decision, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“We are concerned about the declaration of a state of emergency in #Maldives following the Government’s refusal to abide by the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court plenary on February 1, and also the suspension of the constitutional rights of the Maldivians,” said the MEA in a statement.
“The arrest of the president of the Supreme Court and political figures are also cause for concern.
The government continues to carefully monitor the situation, “he added.
Last week, the Maldivian Supreme Court acquitted former Nasheed, former Maldivian vice-president Ahmed Adeeb, and ordered the reinstatement of the other 12 parliamentary members.
Maldives has been in turmoil since 2015 when Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected president, was arrested on charges of “terrorism” related to the arrest of a judge during his term.
The arrest sparked widespread protests across the country and led to the arrest of hundreds of dissidents. The supreme court had sentenced Nasheed to 13 years in prison.
In 2016, Nasheed sought political asylum in the United Kingdom after traveling there with medical permission from the prison.
Ten years ago, the Maldives became a multiparty democracy, after three decades of autocratic rule by Yameen’s former strong man and half brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.