The Indian government on Tuesday said it was “disturbed” by the declaration of emergency in the Maldives. Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency on Monday after defying a Supreme Court directive to release political prisoners.
The Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release on Tuesday that it was also concerned about “the suspension of constitutional rights of the people of Maldives”. “The arrest of the Supreme Court’s chief justice and political figures are also reasons for concern,” the ministry added. It said that the Indian government was carefully monitoring the situation.
On Monday, the Ministry of External Affairs had advised citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Male or other areas in the Maldives due to the law and order situation.
Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed on Tuesday urged India to end 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.
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.