UN Chief urges Maldives govt. to lift state of emergency

ANI | Updated: Feb 07, 2018 00:35 IST

Male (Maldives), Feb. 07 (ANI): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday expressed serious concern about the situation in Maldives and urged the government to uphold the rule of law in the island nation.

Guterres'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.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, "The Secretary-General urges the Government of the Maldives to uphold the constitution and rule of law, lift the state of emergency as soon as possible, and take all measures to ensure the safety and security of the people in the country, including members of the judiciary."

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

Former President of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed and Judicial administrator Hassan Saeed were arrested by security forces, just hours after President Yameen declared a state of emergency in the country on Monday.

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. (ANI)