February 25, 2018

Main » Maldives: Release Supreme Court judges and opposition politicians immediately

Maldives: Release Supreme Court judges and opposition politicians immediately

07 February 2018

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen called a state of emergency on Monday and ordered soldiers to arrest his 80-year-old predecessor, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, his estranged half brother, who supported the main political opposition.

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed were arrested after Yameen accused them of corruption and judicial overreach.

Mr Nasheed, who is now in Colombo in Sri Lanka, also urged the United States to block financial transactions of Mr Yameen's government.

The Indian Ocean nation was thrown into turmoil when the Supreme Court ordered several jailed politicians to be freed last week - something the current leader did not agree with.

Yameen called the move a "coup" and declared the state of emergency to invalidate the judge's immunity and arrest him and former president and opposition leader, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, on bribery and conspiration charges.

The whereabouts of the court's other two judges were not known yesterday.

'I had to declare a national emergency because there was no other way to investigate these judges, ' President Abdulla Yameen said in a televised address to the nation.

Maldives Supreme Court late Tuesday rescinded its landmark ruling ordering the release of as many as nine political dissidents including self exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.

Following Monday's declaration, security forces blocked the court building with justices inside, according to a Supreme Court spokesman.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically-elected leader of Maldives was charged with terrorism in March 2015 and granted asylum in the United Kingdom after he sought medical treatment there. The Supreme Court ruled that the political leaders' guilty verdicts had been politically influenced.

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".

The country's police commissioner said he would enforce the court's ruling, but in response, the government of President dismissed him. Nasheed has been living in exile in Britain since 2016 after being given asylum when he traveled there on medical leave from prison.

It is to mention here that the country's major source of income is tourism but a constitutional crisis between Yameen and the security forces against the apex court would pose threat to it.

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

Maldives: Release Supreme Court judges and opposition politicians immediately