U.S. urges Maldives to respect rule of law amid emergency

07 February, 2018, 01:31 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Supreme Court of the Maldives

On Sunday, the Maldives Supreme Court restored parliament membership of 12 supporters of the opposition, thereby giving the opposition coalition the majority of seats in the legislature, which has the power to impeach the president.

Mohamed Nasheed, the country's exiled former president whose 13-year jail sentence the Supreme Court anulled last week, called the state of emergency "tantamount to a declaration of martial law in the Maldives".

International rights watchdog Amnesty International has warned Male that emergency rule "must not become a licence for further repression", pointing to the country's "appalling track record of suppressing freedom of expression".

Yameen officially announced that the Maldives was in a state of emergency for the duration of 15 days starting on Monday night.

In a letter addressed to the worldwide community, Maldive opposition lawmakers appealed for external support in persuading Yameen to end the tense standoff with the country's highest court.

Mr Gayoom was the archipelago nation's president from 1978 to 2008 and is the half brother of the Maldives' current president. "The prevailing political developments in the Maldives are a matter of concern for India".

Officials said the court has not properly responded to a series of letters citing problems with implementing the order, including that the cases against the political prisoners are at different legal stages.

There was no immediate reaction from the court.

In December, the Maldives signed a trade pact with China raising eyebrows in India.

On Monday, before the emergency was declared, a minister quit in protest at the government's defiance of the supreme court.


The united opposition parliamentary group after an impromptu sit-down told reporters that the president had unlawfully abused his power to declare a state of emergency to seize control of all the powers of the state.

President Abdulla Yameen has refused to comply with a court order to release political prisoners.

The Kibindhoo lawmaker also condemned the arrest of deposed ruling party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and vowed to do everything possible to free the jailed political leaders. They rejected the country's Supreme Court ruling, leading to a wave of protests encouraged by former leaders.

Addressing the nation on state television, Yameen said he had acted to prevent a coup, and suggested that the judges had chosen to side with his opponents because they were being investigated for corruption.

Opposition supporters have staged street protests lobbying the government to obey the court order and have urged the global community to do what it can to persuade the government to obey the ruling.

Maldives became a multiparty democracy 10 years ago after decades of autocratic rule, but lost numerous democratic gains after Yameen was elected in 2013.

Nasheed has been living in exile in Britain since 2016 after being given asylum when he travelled there on medical leave from prison.

India is watching the situation with "a close eye" though the foreign ministry in New Delhi has not offered any comments other than a statement it put out on Friday urging the Male government to abide by the court order.

Speaking publicly for the first time since Thursday's Supreme Court order, Yameen said Saturday that he did not expect the court ruling, but that all relevant authorities of the state need to do "a lot of work to see how to implement it".

Recommended:



Popular

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson explains his love of ice cream

2 dead, 50 injured in Amtrak train crash
A CSX spokesman confirmed the incident and said additional information would be made available as details are confirmed. The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that a team of investigators are en route to the crash site.

United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) held by 188 SEC 13F Filers
Bank Of Italy decreased its stake in Cnh Indl N V (CNHI) by 5.14% based on its latest 2017Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. It dropped, as 74 investors sold CSCO shares while 637 reduced holdings. 60 funds opened positions while 146 raised stakes.

Polar bears are starving as Arctic ice melts, warns United States study
But he added, "I think it confirms all the reasons to be concerned about polar bears from a conservation perspective are intact". Scientists monitoring the creatures activity in the Arctic found they have far higher energy demands than previously thought.

Fort Valley State University celebrates Black History Month
Saturday, 1 p.m.: Opening celebration at Museum London with cultural groups showcasing their roots, art, crafts and services. An event Thursday night was a panel discussion about the origins of Black History Month.

Migrants clash in Calais leaving four teenagers in critical condition
By 9pm, police said that a total of 13 migrants were seriously wounded, as other victims were found by police around the town. Authorities said French police intervened to protect the Afghans.

Google Home can now wake you up with musical alarms
The first step is to link your Netflix account in the Google Home app or via the Google Assistant on your phone. Luckily, the Google Assistant can help you wake up more peacefully.

UN Calls for Action Against Sexual Violence in War Zones
Jolie has spent much of time in the public working to bring key human rights issues to the forefront of the global political dialogue.

Blake Griffin reflects on time with Clippers, thanks fans for support
LeBron gets to reset with a new star and the Cavs have him locked down for five years if LeBron wants to walk after this season. Not only does the deal clear cap space, the Clippers potentially acquired a lottery pick in a deep 2018 draft.

Governor Abbott Orders Texas Rangers Investigation Into Troubling Allegations At Karolyi Ranch
In the late spring of 2015, inside the Karolyi Ranch, visiting coach Sarah Jantzi overheard a troubling conversation. Read Governor Abbott's full letter calling for an investigation by the Texas Rangers .