The Maldivian government was defiant Thursday after the European parliament called for unprecedented targeted measures in response to a “serious and deteriorating political and human rights situation”.
The ongoing state of emergency is necessary to “ensure national security and constitutional order, to uphold the rule of law and to safeguard the peace and stability of the nation,” the foreign ministry contended, stressing that emergency powers invoked by President Abdulla Yameen only applies to judges and politicians detained over “illegal activities in connection to the Supreme Court Order of 1 February“.
“The government does not intend to prolong the state of emergency and plans to lift it as soon as the threats posed to national security are addressed satisfactorily,” it said.
Thursday’s EU parliament resolution came after the Council of the European Union warned last month that it may consider targeted measures if “politically motivated arrests” and the suspension of constitutional rights continue.
The MEPs called on the EU “to make full use of all instruments at its disposal to promote respect for human rights and democratic principles in the Maldives, including, possibly, the suspension of EU financial assistance to the country pending the resumption of the rule of law and abidance by democratic principles; […] to introduce targeted measures and sanctions against those in the country undermining human rights, and to freeze the assets abroad of, and impose travel bans on, certain members of the Maldivian Government and their leading supporters in the Maldivian business community.”
The government, however, rejected calls for the execution of the February 1 Supreme Court order, which effectively reinstated an opposition parliament majority and freed Yameen’s jailed opponents ahead of elections in September.
It maintains the shock ruling was “nullified” by a three-judge bench on February 6, a day after the security forces stormed the Supreme Court and arrested two justices.
The government also welcomed the EU’s support for stalled all-party talks, assured the safety of foreign nationals and promised “a free and stable environment for campaigns” before the presidential election.