Maldives declares state of emergency as Supreme Court judges arrested

Maldives president, Abdulla Yameen, has declared a state of emergency as troops storm the country's top court 

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency
Maldives President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency

Maldives president, Abdulla Yameen, has declared a state of emergency as heavily armed troops stormed the country’s top court.

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.

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after the government declared a state of emergency.

The country receded into chaos on Thursday, when the supreme court called for the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, ruling that their trails were politically motivated and flawed.

The country's police commissioner said he would enforce the court's ruling, but in response, the government of President dismissed him.

On Sunday, protestors demanded the release of nine jailed politicians (Photo: BBC)
On Sunday, protestors demanded the release of nine jailed politicians (Photo: BBC)

A wave of protests in the capital, Malé began when the government refused to implement the ruling. Angry clashes between police and demonstrators were reported.

The crisis escalated on Monday when a state of emergency was declared, giving a range of powers to the security forces to make arrests, and banning public gatherings.

The army has now been ordered to resist any attempt to impeach or remove President Yameen.

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has allied himself with the opposition, was detained at his home.

Shortly before he was taken in by the police, Gayoom posted a video message to his supporters on Twitter. “I have not done anything to be arrested,” he said. “I urge you to remain steadfast in your resolve too. We will not give up on the reform work we are doing.”

The supreme court, said on Sunday there were no obstacles. The international community agreed. The UN and US said the Maldives should implement the order, as the opposition called for human rights to be respected.

Police were also dispatched to the Supreme Court.

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