CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT IS ARRESTED IN MALDIVES




Şimal Çınar –TDO- As the political crisis gets worse in Maldives, the police have arrested Abdulla Saeed, the country’s chief justice of the Supreme Court along with another judge named Ali Hameed and the opposition leader Mamoon Abdul Gaydom who was president from 1978 to 2008, when Maldives became a multiparty democracy and is the half-brother of the current president. The arrests took place early Tuesday, a few hours after a declaration of state of emergency as made by the government due to the protests that were spilled on to the streets of the capital city of Male. While the charges against Abdulla Saeed and Ali Hamid have not been specified yet, the charges against Gaydom include bribery and attempt to overthrow the government.

The crisis started when the Supreme Court ordered the release of a group of opposition politicians last week and ruled that the trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed was unconstitutional. When country’s police commissioner said he would enforce the court’s ruling the government sacked him. The crisis escalated as a state of emergency was declared on Monday and with this the government was given sweeping powers to make arrests, search and seize property and restrict the freedom of assembly according to the officials.

Upon these the former President Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected leader of Maldives and whose trial was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court called India and the US for help to remove the current President Yameen. Mr. Naheed talked said that the President’s order is "tantamount to a declaration of martial law in the Maldives" and added "This declaration is unconstitutional and illegal. Nobody in the Maldives is required to, nor should follow the unlawful order."