UN Secretary General Urges Maldives Government to End State of Emergency

Maldivian Supreme Court rescinds ruling to release opposition leaders

UN Secretary General Urges Maldives Government to End State of Emergency

Shortly afterwards, Yameen sent in troops to the Supreme Court building to arrest Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed.

China's emphasis on seeking a domestically driven breakthrough follows a call by the former Maldivian President, Mohammed Nasheed, for India's support in the release of political prisoners, who remain behind bars, in defiance of a ruling by the apex court in Male.

It said the judges, upon considering concerns raised by the president, had chose to "annul" a section ordering the release and re-trial of the nine people, seven of whom are imprisoned in the Maldives.

The Supreme Court's shock decision last week to order the release of political dissidents and quash the conviction of exiled opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed, among others, sparked the crisis. Yameen had earlier on Monday written three letters to the Supreme Court explaining the challenges being faced in implementing the court order. The whereabouts of the court's other two judges were not clear Tuesday.

Mr Nasheed, who was granted asylum by Britain after the government allowed him to leave jail for medical treatment overseas in 2016, sought Indian intervention to resolve the Maldives most serious political crisis in years.

"This state of emergency is the only way I can determine how deep this plot, this coup, goes", Yameen said.

On Monday, Maldives police detained Yameen's estranged half-brother and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had sided with the main opposition.

The Associated Press adds that hours after the emergency was declared, soldiers forced their way into the Supreme Court building, where the judges were believed to be taking shelter, said Ahmed Maloof, an opposition member of Parliament.

There was no immediate response from India or the United States, though both have called on Yameen to obey the original Supreme Court order. "Even the whole opposition, all our leaders, all our supporters in a fear that we all might get arrested anytime", he said.

In a televised address to the nation today, President Yameen accused judges of plotting to overthrow him.

"I have not done anything to be arrested", he said.

Nasheed is exiled in Britain since he was ousted in 2012 and sentenced to 13 years in prison on terrorism charges. It also ruled that Mr Nasheed's trial, held in 2015, had been unconstitutional.

"We expect the authorities of the Maldives to abide by the ruling and for the government to engage in inclusive dialogue with the leaders of all political parties".

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