The Maldives: Military Sealed off the Parliament

The Parliament of the Maldives Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Parliament of the Maldives Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court of the Maldives has said there is no legal barrier to release the political prisoners.

The top court of the Maldives freed the current President’s jailed opponents erupting an escalation of tensions in the Maldivian political spectrum.

The government, although initially announced to comply with the court ruling, has refused to follow the Court order.

The Maldivian military, obedient to President Yameen, has sealed off the parliament of the country and arrested two opposition lawmakers from the airport.

The arrested opposition MPs landed in the Maldives from an exile following a court order that reinstated their seats in the parliament.

The ruling government of the Maldives raised ‘concern’ about freeing the political leaders convicted of “terrorism, bomb attacks, corruption, embezzlement, and fraud.”

The Maldives has been going through political unrest since 2015 when the former President Nasheed was convicted guilty of terrorism charges.

The international community condemned Nasheed’s guilty verdict. He was later given political asylum in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Maldivian government has fired the police commissioner Ahmed Akif after the country’s police announced on Twitter that it would enforce the Supreme Court ruling.

The Maldivian Attorney General Mohamed Anil announced the dismissal of the police commissioner in a late-night press conference because he said Akif was ‘uncontactable following the Supreme Court verdict.’

The opposition said they believe the police commissioner was fired because President Yameen was disheartened with the commissioner following the police’s tweet to comply with the Supreme Court verdict.

The government, however, later announced to comply with the Supreme Court verdict. But the latest move to seal off the parliament and arresting the arriving MPs suggest otherwise.

The government crackdown was smelled immediately after the Attorney General Mohamed Anil, flanked by the police and army chief by his two sides said, “I have informed all law enforcement agencies they must not obey such an illegal order.”

The army chief said the Maldivian military “will not wait and watch as the Maldives descends into crisis.”

He vowed to follow the instruction of the attorney general instead of the court order.

Meanwhile, the opposition has condemned the government move following its refusal to accept the court ruling.

“We call on the police to release the MPs immediately, and to stop following unlawful orders, to stop obstructing the lawful mandate of parliamentarians,” opposition MP Mr. Solih said.

“In a desperate attempt to cling onto power, President Yameen has illegally overrun the state. His attorney-general has illegally assumed the powers of the apex court, while the military has overrun the legislature.”


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