Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed (pictured above) has urged India to send its envoy to Male and involve its troops to help release the Supreme Court judges who were arrested in the early hours of Tuesday. Nasheed asked India to “act swiftly” to help resolve the political crisis in the island nation, PTI reported.
Late on Monday, President Abdulla Yameen of Maldives declared a 15-day state of emergency in the country, saying the Supreme Court was obstructing the government from carrying out its responsibilities. Security forces then stormed the Supreme Court and arrested two judges, including Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed. They also arrested Gayoom, who is Yameen’s half-brother. The police, however, did not specify the charges against them.
Nasheed requested India for “physical presence” in getting the judges and political prisoners, including former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, released. Gayoom was also arrested early Tuesday.
In a post on Twitter, the exiled leader also appealed to the United States to block all transactions of the ruling leaders of Maldives in American banks.
The US has said that it was troubled and disappointed after emergency was declared in Maldives, PTI reported. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Yameen had “systematically alienated his coalition, jailed or exiled every major opposition political figure” since his election in 2013.
“The US calls on President Yameen, the army, and the police to comply with the rule of law, implement the Supreme Court ruling and the rulings of the criminal court, ensure the full and proper functioning of the Parliament, and restore constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people and institutions of the Maldives,” Nauert said.
Nasheed also said that Yameen’s announcement to declare a state of emergency was “tantamount to a declaration of martial law”. “This declaration is unconstitutional and illegal. Nobody in the Maldives is required to, nor should, follow this unlawful order,” PTI quoted Nasheed as saying.
The emergency came within a week of the Supreme Court’s order on February 1 to revoke terrorism charges against nine Opposition leaders, including Nasheed. The government has defied the order.
Nasheed was Maldives’ first democratically-elected leader, who was replaced by Yameen in 2013. In 2015, he was sentenced to 13 years in jail on terror charges, but was granted asylum in the United Kingdom.