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Maldives state of emergency: updates



There is a state of emergency in the Maldives following President Abdulla Yameen’s refusal to obey a Supreme Court verdict.

Here is a round-up of developments since Thursday February 8, with the latest at the top. This list will be updated.

The government has been urged to respect journalists’ rights.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has said the detention of Sheikh Imran Abdullah, leader of the Adhaalath Party, was arrested arbitrarily and that he must be released with the right to compensation and other reparations. Read the full ruling here.

China has accused former president Mohamed Nasheed of lying.

The rule of law in the Maldives is under siege, say UN human rights experts.

Moody’s Investors Service says the state of emergency will have a negative impact on the country’s economy. Read our story here.

The government has published a 33-point update on the circumstances leading up to the state of emergency and its aftermath.

Police are investigating a plot to overthrow the government. Read our story here.

There will be no by-elections for 12 constituencies where lawmakers were stripped of their seats, as the Elections Commission looks like it will obey the Supreme Court ruling. Read our story here.

Five people were arrested Sunday while taking part in a Maldivian Democratic Party protest, including its youth wing leader Mickail Naseem.

Prison authorities are refusing to grant ex-president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom family and lawyer visits. Gayoom, who is 82, has even been denied a change of clothes, his lawyer says.

Justice Ali Hameed’s wife has been charged with terrorism, bribery, influencing official proceedings, and attempting to topple the government, VFP reports. She was arrested last Wednesday. Hameed was one of two judges arrested hours after the state of emergency was declared.

The police have dismissed allegations from “a former president” that Maldivian jihadis are in its ranks.

The government says a number of journalists are working in the country with the proper visa. Here are two of them –  Zhu Ruiqing and Tang Lu – reporting on the “mild unrest” in the Maldives.

President Abdulla Yameen told the party faithful it was a crime to invite “foreign militia to interfere with our domestic matters” – a reference to former leader Mohamed Nasheed’s repeated requests for Indian intervention.

A rally organised Friday night by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party drew a heavy security presence. A ruling party event did not.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urged the government to comply with the Supreme Court’s initial ruling and to lift the state of emergency.

Air India is waiving certain fees because of the “prevailing situation” in the Maldives including no-show, cancellation and refund. This policy applies until February 14. The Times of India reported that low-cost carrier Spice Jet was also waiving some charges.

Pakistan will not interfere in other countries’ affairs, say reports, as Maldives special envoys were dispatched to ‘friendly nations’ to brief them on the state of emergency. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said this to Maldives Foreign Minister Dr Mohamed Asim when they met on Friday. Some headlines were a little less delicate, such as this one: “Expect no help, Pakistan tells Maldives.”

Maldives police confirm they have arrested two journalists – a British national and an Indian national – and that they have been handed over to immigration. Read our story here.

Abdulla Sinan, a politician who was reinstated after the Supreme Court ruling, has handed himself over to police. Police are still looking for Ilham Ahmed.

Stratfor has published analysis about the regional impact of the Maldives crisis, as the world’s largest democracy (India) seeks to limit Chinese influence in the tiny island nation.

One of the presidential envoys dispatched to ‘friendly nations’ has told China that its people and institutions in the Maldives can be protected.

US President Donald Trump spoke to India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with both leaders expressing concern about the Maldives.

The UN Security Council has been told the Maldives situation may worsen.

MP Faris Maumoon, who has been in and out of prison several times in recent weeks, has been arrested again. The charges are unclear. His father and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is in prison and so is his brother-in-law Mohamed Nadheem.

The president’s office has published its account of what has happened since the Supreme Court ruling was issued.

Former president Mohamed Nasheed has hit out at the crackdown on media, following the shuttering of RaajjeTV.