World News

State of emergency in Maldives to 'probe coup' as judges arrested

State of emergency in Maldives to 'probe coup' as judges arrested

Nasheed - the country's first democratically elected leader - told BBC News that the government's actions were "brazenly illegal" and amounted to a coup.

But Geng was ambivalent on taking a stand against Yameen who during his visit here in December signed a number of deals permitting Chinese investments and inked the much criticised Free Trade Agreement, raising hackles in India.

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

"The world's eyes are on the Maldives right now and human rights must not become a casualty of this ongoing crisis", the watchdog's director Biraj Patnaik said in a statement.

The court order opens the way for a return to the normal functioning of Parliament, which, the statement said, is a fundamental pillar of democracy.

President Abdulla Yameen accused the court of overstepping its authority after the ruling last week, and declared a state of emergency on Monday in a bid to put an end to what he described as "a coup".

The move gives sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects, and comes amid a tense stand-off between the Supreme Court and the Government.

On February 1, the Maldives' Supreme Court overturned terrorism charges against nine opponents of Yameen and ordered the release of those opposition leaders jailed and the restitution of 12 opposition legislators. These judges and opposition politicians must be released immediately.

He also called on the United States to stop Maldives government officials from making transactions through U.S. banks.

An opposition leader in the Maldives has called on India to intervene after President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency amid a deepening political crisis in the island nation.

Shortly before he was taken in by the police, Gayoom posted a video message to his supporters on Twitter.

The Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release on Tuesday that it was also concerned about "the suspension of constitutional rights of the people of Maldives".

India has asked the "Government of Maldives to respect and abide by the order of the apex court" and said it "wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives".

He was granted asylum in the United Kingdom after he was authorized to seek medical treatment there amid mounting foreign pressure.

Nasheed is among a total of nine individuals whom the apex court declared were subject to unfair judicial proceedings and therefore can not be kept in prison. Since then, Yameen's government has cracked down on dissent and jailed nearly all the political opposition, reversing several years of democratic progress.