Maldives: State of Emergency lifted

President Abdulla Yameen of Maldives has lifted the 45-day State of Emergency in an effort to bring about normalcy in the country. Yameen had imposed Emergency in his bid to annul the ruling of the Maldivian Supreme Court to reverse the criminal sentences against nine leaders of the opposition.

The Emergency had led to the arrest of former President Gayoom, two judges of Supreme Court and a senior judicial member on charges of attempts to overthrow the government and of terrorism. The Male Court has ordered them to remain in custody till their trial finishes. If found guilty on charges of terrorism they can be served a jail sentence of 15 years. The former President Mohamed Nasheed has stated that Yameen has finally lifted the Emergency as it was not required anymore. Nasheed was also among the nine leaders against whom the charges of terrorism were reversed by the Supreme Court. Nasheed has accused Yameen of overriding the judiciary and assuming powers of absolute dictatorship. Yameen has already arrested many opposition figures, journalists and even the former Chief of Police. Many others who had challenged the Emergency and took to streets were also arrested.

The opposition has levied heavy allegations against Yameen primarily of election irregularities, abuse of power and corrupt practices. Yameen has arrested most of the prominent leaders of opposition or has forced them into living in exile. After the arrest of Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed, the remaining three judges of Supreme Court overturned the ruling which ordered the release of opposition leaders. The section of the ruling which had reinstated 12 legislators was also suspended.

The Parliament later ratified the law which confiscates the seats of the judges who are convicted of any criminal offence.  The Emergency was condemned by US, EU, India although latter did not respond to any request of former President Nasheed to send an envoy along with military to free Gayoom and other leaders. China on its part did not interfere on the pretext of respecting integrity and sovereignty of the island nation.



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