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Maldivian Supreme Court rescinds ruling to release opposition leaders

07 February 2018, 01:25 | Myrtle Vega

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Maldives high court annuls order freeing jailed politicians

The government did not comment on soldiers entering the Supreme Court building or on Mr Gayoom's arrest, but the president's main rival, who lives in exile, urged people not to obey what he called an "unlawful order". "This is something more unsafe", President Yameen Abdul Gayoom said on national television.

In a post on his Twitter account, Nasheed "humbly requested" upon India and the U.S. to ensure that political detainees are released and choke the government's finances.

In a statement, Nasheed said Yameen had illegally declared martial law.

Judges are "without any food now", Suood said, adding that the chief justice asked the public "to protect him and the institution".

"The emergency means the Supreme Court activities are suspended and nobody is in charge of the judiciary".

Yameen, who has rolled back a series of democratic reforms during his five years in office, has said that the court overstepped its authority in ordering the politicians released, saying the order "blatantly disrupts the systems of checks and balances".

Invoking sweeping emergency powers, the government has arrested the Chief Justice, Abdulla Saeed, another Supreme Court judge, Justice Ali Hameed, a former president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the former president's son-in-law, Mohamed Nadheem, and the head of the Department of Judicial Administration, Hassan Saeed.

The picturesque Indian Ocean archipelago, which has seen a number of political crises since the ouster of its first democratically-elected president Nasheed in 2012, plunged into chaos on Thursday last when the apex court ordered the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were "politically motivated and flawed".

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"Any Supreme Court order to arrest the president would be unconstitutional and illegal".

Last week, the Supreme Court ordered the release of a group of opposition politicians.

Nasheed has also urged the United States "to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through U.S. banks".

The judiciary's rights especially, have been effectively curbed and the opposition can not carry out any of its plans whether within or outside parliament.

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

The United Nations, United States and other foreign governments have urged the Maldives to respect the court order.

He was granted asylum in the United Kingdom after he was authorised to seek medical treatment there amid mounting foreign pressure.

Nasheed is among a total of nine individuals whom the apex court declared were subject to unfair judicial proceedings and therefore can not be kept in prison.



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