Maldives rejects meeting with European diplomats

ANI | Updated: Feb 10, 2018 15:40 IST

Male [Maldives], Feb 10 (ANI): Embattled Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen has refused to meet with diplomats from the European Union, Germany and the United Kingdom after the state of emergency was imposed in the Maldives last week.

The diplomats who are based in Sri Lanka, but are also accredited to the Maldives, reached Male on Thursday after the Maldivian government said that the country was open to foreign observers.

They met with the members of the ruling and opposition parties, who discussed the ongoing political crisis in the country, according to media reports.

The German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Joern Rohde, wrote on Twitter, "Sadly the Maldivian Govt refuses dialogue: today with my UK/EU colleagues we requested to meet the President/Cabinet ministers and speaker of majlis (Parliament) to discuss our concerns on the current situation. Our requests were unfortunately refused. That is surely not the way forward."

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, termed the Maldives' state of emergency as an "all-out assault on democracy".

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also appealed to the Maldivian government to lift the emergency soon.

Two journalists, an Indian and a British national of Indian origin, were arrested on Friday in the Maldives under the State of Emergency decree for national security purposes.

Money Sharma from Punjab and Atish Ravji Patel from London were reporters who were employed with Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency.

Last Monday, Gayoom, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed and Judicial administrator Hassan Saeed were arrested by the security forces after Yameen declared a state of emergency in the country.

The arrests indicated that the crackdown on the opposition intensified. The country's National Defence Force also stormed inside the Supreme Court (SC) premises in Male last week.

The Maldivian capital remained tense as opposition leaders across were being rounded up and placed under detention as Yameen, who has been refusing to obey SC's orders directing him to release nine prominent leaders from prison, gave sweeping powers to the security forces.

Last week, the Maldivian Supreme Court acquitted former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldivian Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and ordered the reinstatement of the 12 other parliamentary members. (ANI)

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