Maldives govt warns SC against arrest of President Abdulla Yameen

Updated: Feb 05, 2018, 09:33 IST | Agencies

The beleaguered Maldives government on Sunday ordered police and troops to resist any move by the Supreme Court to arrest or impeach President Abdulla Yameen over his refusal to release political prisoners

Maldivian police enter the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party camp to break up celebrations in support of Supreme Court's decision to order the release of jailed political leaders. Pic/AFP
Maldivian police enter the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party camp to break up celebrations in support of Supreme Court's decision to order the release of jailed political leaders. Pic/AFP

The beleaguered Maldives government on Sunday ordered police and troops to resist any move by the Supreme Court to arrest or impeach President Abdulla Yameen over his refusal to release political prisoners. The tiny tourist archipelago has been plunged into a political crisis pitting the country's top court against Yameen, whose crackdown on dissent has tarnished the nation's image as an up-market holiday paradise.

The judges on Thursday night ordered authorities to release nine political dissidents and restore the seats of 12 legislators, who had been sacked for defecting from Yameen's party, ruling the cases were politically motivated. But the Yameen government has so far refused to comply with the shock ruling. It has shuttered parliament and resisted international calls to respect the judicial order and restore democracy.

In a national television address on Sunday, Attorney General Mohamed Anil remained defiant. "Any Supreme Court order to arrest the president would be unconstitutional and illegal. So I have asked the police and the army not to implement any unconstitutional order," Anil said. Former president and current opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed described the government's refusal to obey the Supreme Court as a "coup".

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