UN Chief urges Maldives govt. to lift 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 Maldivian government on Sunday revealed an imminent move by the country's top court to have President Abdulla Yameen arrested with the police and army insisting that such an order will not be enforced, local media reported.

The Maldives is in political turmoil, and the country's president has declared a 15-day state of emergency giving him more power to detain people.

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

"I had to declare a national emergency because there was no other way to investigate these judges", he said.

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.

India was urged to despatch its military to the Maldives yesterday to intervene in a political crisis that has triggered a state of emergency on the island nation.

The Supreme Court in the Maldives has reversed a controversial ruling which dismissed terrorism charges against opposition leaders.

The remaining three judges of the Supreme Court said they were rescinding their February 1 order to release the prisoners "in light of the concerns raised by the President". "We must remove him from power", said Nasheed, the first democratically elected leader of the Maldives, in a statement issued Tuesday.

"We would like the Indian government to send an envoy, backed by its military, to free the judges and the political detainees".

Opposition supporters have staged street protests lobbying the government to obey the court order and have urged the worldwide community to do what it can to persuade the government to obey the ruling.

Tuesday's arrests follow the court's shock decision last Thursday to order the release of political dissidents and quash the convictions of Nasheed and other exiled opposition figures.

The declaration also suspended an article of its constitution that stipulates the Supreme Court is the final legal authority in the country.

He also called on the United States to impose targeted economic sanctions on Yameen and his associates.

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) calls on the Government of the Maldives to immediately lift the state of emergency and restore fundamental freedoms and rights of its people.

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