COLOMBO – The former president of Maldives called on Tuesday on the United States and India to intervene in the ongoing crisis in the island nation.
Mohamed Nasheed made the request following several arrests in overnight, and President Abdulla Yameen’s decision to declare a state of emergency.
“On behalf of Maldivian people we humbly request” the US “to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through US banks,” Nasheed wrote on his Twitter account.
He also requested India provide “a physical presence” and to “send envoys, backed by its military” for the release of judges and political detainees including former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, president Yameen’s half-brother, who has also been arrested.
The police have also arrested Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and other Supreme Court judges.
On Monday, the Maldives government declared a state of emergency for 15 days amid mounting tension due to Yameen’s decision to defy a Supreme Court ruling.
On Feb. 1, the country’s top court passed a ruling reinstating 12 lawmakers and dropping the charges against nine opposition politicians, including Nasheed.
It also ordered the release of the nine political prisoners, after concluding that “criminal proceedings were conducted based on political motivations (...) and the rulings were given subject to undue influence over judiciary and the prosecutor.”
The president initially said he would abide by the order but on Monday he asked the highest judicial body to revoke its decision, saying it would potentially lead to an undermining of the supremacy of the constitution, which the court refused.
Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected leader, was jailed over charges related to ordering the arrest of a judge during his tenure, a controversial process that his party insists was plagued with irregularities.
The former president is currently in Colombo although he has been living in exile in London since May 2016.