Ex-Maldives President Nasheed seeks India's military help amid crisis

Feb 06, 2018, 14:34 IST | IANS

Former Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed on Tuesday sought military intervention by India to resolve the crisis raging in his country

Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed
Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed

Former Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed on Tuesday sought military intervention by India to resolve the crisis raging in his country, a day after a defiant President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency and got the country's Chief Justice and another judge put behind bars.Taking to Twitter, Nasheed said that he was requesting India, on behalf of the Maldivian people, to send its envoy, "backed by its military", to release judges and political detainees, including former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom

"We request a physical presence," he said Nasheed, who lives in self-exile in Britain, also requested the US "to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through US banks". President Yameen, in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling that ordered the release of nine opposition leaders, including Nasheed, and the reinstatement of 12 expelled MPs, clamped a 15-day state of emergency in the country on Monday night.

The Maldivian police arrested Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed from the Supreme Court at around 3 a.m., after an almost seven-hour siege of the premises by the security forces. The Army scaled the court building and held staff and judges under military supervision. The judges were later taken to a detention facility outside the capital, Male.

Judicial administrator Hassan Saeed was also arrested after midnight and his residence was raided for the second time. The Maldives Police Service has said that there was evidence that could implicate Saeed and Hameed. President Yameen declared the state of emergency on Monday night, giving a range of powers to the security forces to make arrests, and banning public gatherings.

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has allied himself with the opposition that rejects the state of emergency, was also arrested on Monday night, the Maldives Independent reported.Before being arrested, Gayoom released a video saying that he has not "done anything to warrant arrest" and urging them to "remain strong". His son-in-law Mohamed Nadheem was also arrested. The charges against the two include bribing lawmakers and plotting to overthrow the government.

Gayoom and Nadheem were taken to a detention facility on the island of Dhoonidhoo. Maldives has been facing unrest after the Supreme Court ruled last week to release top opposition political leaders including former President Nasheed and former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb. The court said in a brief statement that they must be freed until fair trials could be conducted without undue influence.

The government has already suspended Parliament and has ordered the Army to resist any moves by the Supreme Court to impeach the President. Earlier on Monday, Yameen wrote three letters to the Supreme Court explaining the challenges being faced in implementing the court order. The US State Department said it was "troubled and disappointed" by the developments in the archipelago nation.

The US National Security Council warned in a tweet that "the world is watching". British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called on President Yameen to lift the state of emergency. "The damage being done to democratic institutions in Maldives and the sustained misuse of process in Parliament is deeply worrying," he said in a statement. India, China and the UK have issued travel warnings to the country that is made up of 26 coral atolls and 1,192 individual islands.

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