Maldives crises: Protests underway outside MDP Haruge

ANI | Updated: Feb 08, 2018 03:17 IST

Male [Maldives], Feb 8 (ANI): Protesters have gathered at the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) campaign centre Haruge and have been calling for the implementation of Supreme Court order to release nine political prisoners.

"Protesters gathered at MDP's campaign centre Haruge call on the government [to] stop intimidating the judiciary and to free political prisoners, including the 9 specified in the Supreme Court's ruling on 1 February," the MDP Secretariat tweeted.

The protestors also, "question police officers on why the ruling party is permitted to have rallies and gatherings while a large number of police officers have been deployed to obstruct the opposition's activities," MDP Secretariat wrote.

On Wednesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the declaration of a state of emergency in the Maldives "is an all-out assault on democracy."

Hussein's statement comes after President Abdulla Yameen ordered a state of emergency in the country and gave sweeping powers to the law enforcement agencies and the military.

Earlier, according to media reports, the security forces arrested the top judge after the declaration of the state of emergency.

Joint Opposition spokesperson Ahmed Mahloof said that officials within the government are threatening the Member of Parliament (MPs) of the opposition party.

Yameen, who has been defying Supreme Court's orders, directing him to release former president Mohamed Nasheed, and free eight other political opponents from prison, has given sweeping powers to security forces in the country, which is facing widespread protests against the president.

The opposition and general public have been unrelentingly asking President Yameen to step down and allow a new leadership to take charge.

India on Tuesday said it was disturbed by the declaration of emergency in the country. (ANI)