Opposition leaders being placed under detention as Maldives President declares emergency

ANI | Updated: Feb 05, 2018 21:45 IST

Male [Maldives], Feb 05 (ANI): 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. Early Monday evening President Yameen declared a state of emergency for 15 days.

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

According to the local media reports, Maldives' Legal Affairs Minister Azima Shakoor read the announcement on state television.

A Member of Parliament (MP) Abdulla Shahid took to Twitter to inform that an emergency has been declared in the Maldives.

"President has just Declared State of Emergency," he tweeted.

Ahmed Mahloof, the spokesperson of Joint Opposition, told ANI that "He's (President Yameen) playing his last card and his game is over."

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Eva Abdulla said, "All basic rights suspended. Security forces have sweeping powers to arrest and search."

"All basic rights suspended. Security forces have sweeping powers to arrest and search," Eva added.

"This was expected and the only card left for President is this. Also according to article 258 of constitution Supreme Court can cancel State of Emergency," a senior opposition leader said.

Ambassador of the United States to Sri Lanka and the Maldives informed on Twitter that he spoke with the Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed to reiterate U.S. support for democratic freedoms.

"I spoke tonight with Chief Justice Saeed to reiterate U.S. support for democratic freedoms, human rights, and #RuleofLaw in #Maldives. Any robust #Democracy requires a judiciary that functions without hindrance or intimidation," he tweeted.

On Monday morning, Maldives capital Male remained tense, with the opposition and general public unrelentingly asking President Yameen to step down and allow a new leadership to take charge. (ANI)

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