Maldives President Abdulla Yameen on Monday declared a 15-day state of emergency in the country, local daily Mihaaru reported quoting Legal Affairs Minister Azima Shukoor. Shukoor said the reason for the declaration of emergency was that the Supreme Court was obstructing the government from carrying out its responsibilities.
“All basic rights have been suspended,” MP Eva Abdullah said, according to ANI. “Security forces have sweeping powers to arrest and search.” The government had earlier defied a Supreme Court order to release key political prisoners and reinstate 12 MPs, Reuters reported.
On Sunday, the country’s security forces sealed off the Parliament and arrested two Opposition legislators, the Maldives Times reported. Soldiers in riot gear surrounded the building after the Opposition asked Parliament to sack Attorney General Mohamed Anil and its chief prosecutor for failing to act on the Supreme Court verdict to release the dissidents.
Meanwhile, India’s Ministry of External Affairs advised citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Male or other areas in the Maldives due to the law and order situation, ANI reported. It also advised expatriates in Maldives to “exercise due caution in public and avoid public gatherings”.