Maldives State of Emergency: A timeline

Maldives State of Emergency: A timeline
February 12 16:02 2018

President Abdulla Yameen claims the Supreme Court is at the centre of what his supporters have called a “judicial coup” to overthrow the government. He says there was no way for him to investigate the attempted coup without declaring a state of emergency. Here is a Maldives Independent timeline of key events between February 1 and February 6. We have a FAQ here.

February 1

22:20 – Supreme Court orders the release of political prisoners and reinstatement of 12 MPs.

23:30 – Police say they will obey and enforce the order.

February 2

00:30 – Cabinet ministers question authenticity of the court order. Yameen fires the police commissioner.

03:00 – TV stations will be shut down if coverage threatens national security, the broadcast regulator says.

19:15 – State raises “legal and constitutional concerns” about the court order

February 3

12:55 – Parliament cancels first sitting of the year for security reasons.

14:00 – Yameen fires the acting police commissioner and appoints someone else to replace him.

17:00 – Yameen makes his first public appearance since the ruling.

22:00 – Special Ops and protesters gather outside the chief justice’s apartment, but police deny rumours it is seeking to arrest him.

February 4

09:00 – Attorney general challenges the Supreme Court, saying authorities will not obey a potential order to impeach Yameen.

12:25 – Parliament Secretary General Ahmed Mohamed resigns for “personal reasons.”

13:40 – Opposition lawmakers submit no-confidence motion against prosecutor general, attorney general, home minister and defence minister for their refusal to comply with the Supreme Court order.

18:24 – Supreme Court says there is no obstacle to enforcing order and stop police from arresting a senior court official.

February 5

20:00 – Criminal Court cancels MP Faris Maumoon’s detention.

20:00 Yameen declares a state of emergency for 15 days. His chief legal advisor announces the suspension of 20 constitutional rights, the Criminal Procedures Act and parts of the Judges Act.

20:00 Maldives Independent website comes under attack.

21:18 – Special ops and army gather outside the Supreme Court.

21:43 – Army lays siege to the Supreme Court after surrounding the building then breaking down its gates.

22:29 – RaajjeTV says shutdown imminent because they have no security.

23:00 – Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and his son-in-law arrested on charges of “bribing lawmakers, attempting to bribe, and plotting to overthrow the government.”

February 6

00:40 – Court official Hassan Saeed arrested and his house is raided for a second time.

03:00 – Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed arrested from the Supreme Court after a seven-hour operation by security forces.

10:14 – Former president Mohamed Nasheed requests India’s intervention.

10:30 – State of emergency amended to suspend more legal rights, including the right to remain silent and be brought before a judge within 24 hours.

12:31 – Ex-defence minister Mohamed Nazim taken back to jail.

12:50 – Yameen says he declared a state of emergency to thwart a coup plot by suspending powers of the state and making arrests.

17:50 – Ibrahim Siyad Qasim, managing director of Villa Trading and son of exiled opposition leader Gasim Ibrahim arrested.

18:00 – Second amendment to state of emergency to lift suspension of constitutional right 145(c): “The Supreme Court shall be the final authority on the interpretation of the Constitution, the law, or any other matter dealt with by a court of law.”

19:25 – Supreme Court lifts suspension of seven high-profile opposition lawyers.

19:30 – February 1 order amended to annul release of political prisoners and assert supremacy of Supreme Court judges over judicial watchdog.

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