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Top Maldivian judges arrested after emergency declaration

06 February 2018

"We will not give up on the reform work we are doing".

Speaking on national television, President Yameen Abdul Gayoom said the court's actions last week amounted to "an obstruction of the very ability of this state to function".

In a statement, Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States "is troubled and disappointed" by reports of the state of emergency.

In the wake of the arrest of a former President, the Chief Justice, and a Supreme Court judge, hours after the government declared a state of emergency on Monday, the Maldives' opposition MPs fear that they may be targeted next, sources in capital Male said.

Opposition leaders in the Maldives urged the worldwide community today to pressure President Abdulla Yameen into obeying a court order to free political prisoners and "restore democracy" to the troubled honeymoon islands.

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.

Opposition leaders across the Maldives are being rounded up and placed under detention as draconian measures are being put in place by President Abdulla Yameen.

Nasheed, the Maldives first democratically elected leader, recently told the BBC that he plans to return from exile to contest elections.

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Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's daughter Yumna Maumoon said the police broke down the door and arrested her father and her husband.

Yameen's regime has so far refused to release nine jailed dissidents and reinstate opposition lawmakers as ordered by the Maldives' top court in a shock ruling last week that has deepened turmoil in the atoll nation.

The government has also said the court has not properly responded to letters citing problems with implementing its order, including that the cases against the political prisoners are at different legal stages.

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

Nasheed was one of the opposition leaders the Supreme Court had ordered freed, ruling that the guilty verdicts had been politically influenced.

The parliament, where the opposition have a majority, remained suspended.

Eva Abdulla, an opposition legislator said the latest declaration of State of Emergency "is an indication of President Yameen's desperation".

China, Australia and the United States have issued travel advisories for the Maldives.

Top Maldivian judges arrested after emergency declaration