Maldives President Declares State of Emergency

Bangladesh has opened a hotline for its citizens living in the Maldives for any kind of support as the Maldivian government declared a state of emergency there for 15 days

"The arrest of the Supreme Court's chief justice and political figures are also reasons for concern", the ministry added.

Following the arrest of two Supreme Court judges, the remaining three judges - responding to concerns communicated by the President - on 6 February revised the Court's ruling, and overturned its previous unanimous ruling ordering the release and retrial of the nine political leaders.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to accept the government's plea that the nine political leaders ordered to be released by the court can not be released because of certain legal and other concerns and that a mutually acceptable way has to be found to implement the release order.

The archipelago was plunged into chaos on Thursday when the Supreme Court called for the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, ruling that their trials were politically motivated and flawed.

President Abdulla Yameen has accused the court of overstepping its authority, and says he has established the state of emergency to "determine how deep this plot, this coup goes".

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China has opposed any military intervention in the Maldives, saying such a move would further complicate the situation, a day after former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed sought India's help to resolve the political crisis in the island nation.

Yameen's administration defied the top court's order last week to release the prisoners, and Monday asked the court to revoke it.

The annulment followed the state of emergency, which gives officials sweeping powers to make arrests, search and seize property and restrict freedom of assembly.

"The world's eyes are on the Maldives right now", said Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International's South Asia director. The incumbent president, Mohmmed Yameen, does not trust Nasheed and other opposition figures and finds his half-brother ex-president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom even less of a friend than before.

Meanwhile, the government on Wednesday said the state of emergency addressed "certain internal aspects of governance" affecting mostly the capital, and not tourist resorts.

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Security forces also on Monday arrested the country's former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the ex-president's spokesman said.

The Indian Ocean nation was thrown into turmoil when the Supreme Court ordered several jailed politicians to be freed last week - something the current leader did not agree with. After losing the election to incumbent president Abdulla Yameen the following year, Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2015 on charges that are alleged to have been concocted by Yameen's government.

Exiled ex- President Mohamed Nasheed, who resides in Colombo, was expected to come back and stand for President after the 1 February verdict.

Yameen has slowly ratcheted up his crackdown on dissent, using troops to shut down parliament and jailing critics, as the Maldives' battered image as an idyllic island paradise fades into mirage.

If implemented, these orders would have greatly strengthened the opposition parties both inside and outside parliament and helpedthe opposition carry out its threat to impeach President Yameen.

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