The Financial Express

Maldives president declares emergency for 15 days

| Updated: February 06, 2018 13:39:46

Maldives president declares emergency for 15 days

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency in the country on Monday amid a deepening political crisis in the island nation.

The president's close aide Azima Shukooron made the announcement, suspending all basic rights and gives sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects.

President Yameen has been running the country with an iron hand since 2013.

But, now he is facing mounting pressure at home and from the United States and India to release former president Mohamed Nasheed from a 13-year jail sentence, and free eight other political opponents from prison.

Country's top court also issued rule to release them.

The Maldives has experienced political unrest since Nasheed, the island's first democratically-elected leader, was forced to quit amid a mutiny by police in 2012.

Earlier in the day, President Yameen said the Supreme Court had overstepped its authority in ordering the release of the imprisoned opposition leaders.

The surprise judicial ruling last week had led to an increasingly tense standoff between President Yameen Abdul Gayoom and the Supreme Court.

The country is also witnessing protests in the streets of the capital.

Soldiers were deployed to the parliament building to stop lawmakers from meeting.

Yameen, in a letter to the court released by his office, said the order had encroached on the powers of the state and was an "infringement of national security and public interest."

He urged the court to "review the concerns" of the government, said Times of India.

The Supreme Court had ruled that the political leaders' guilty verdicts had been politically influenced.

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