President Yameen has declared the State of Emergency twice in the past 3 years of his rule. First, it was declared for 30 days on Nov. 2015, during the Boat Blast incident, and now, on 5th Feb 2018. Let us recall the incidents leading to state of emergency in the country.
Maldivian Supreme Court passed a verdict on 1st Feb to release the Nine Political Prisoners and to reinstate 12 lawmakers, had the orders been executed, Yameen government would have been in minority, forcing him to leave. Hence, it was turned down by Yameen. Consequently, thousands of people gathered near artificial beach in front MDP office and staged protest against Yameen’s government, demanding to implement the supreme court’s ruling.
In order to subdue the protest and also to remain in power, he imposed emergency so that he can dilute the powers of Majlis as well as to change the court ruling. This was followed by a clampdown on media, the three leading on-line news portals – Maldives Independent, Raajje TV and Voice of Free Press were attacked
Meanwhile, on 4th Feb, the exiled MPs Abdulla Sinan and Ilham Ahmed Ruling returned to the Maldives and were arrested at the airport, however, they were released later on 5th Feb. After the imposition of emergency , Yameen ordered the Maldives military to take over the Supreme Court and to arrest the Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed of the Supreme Court. Yameen forced the remaining bench of the Supreme Court to cancel the first Supreme court’s order and to issue a fresh ruling ordering the retrial of the nine political prisoners .
Due to massive unrest in the Maldives, countries like UK, Singapore, India, Germany, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, China etc, issued a travel advisory in their respective countries, warning the citizens to avoid traveling to Maldives in these days. As a result, the economy of the country, which hugely depends upon its tourism sector, is highly getting affected.
Events happened after the declaration of the State of Emergency in Maldives –
- At 11 PM, the Maldivian Police raided the house of former President Maumoon Gayoom and arrested him along with Mohamed Nadheem his Son-In-Law.* Later that day, Faris Maumoon, son of Gayoom, who was jailed on false charges, got released.
- Then, the State Minister of Health, Hussain Rasheed resigned from his post.
- After the midnight, around 3 AM, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed got arrested and later, Judicial Administrator, Hassan Saeed was also arrested by Maldivian Police.
- Afterwards, by the order given by Yameen, the military had overtaken the Parliament.
- Opposition MPs submitted a No Confidence Motion against the Auditor General Mohamed Anil and Prosecutor General Bisham to Parliament.
- In the evening, the people of Maldives come out on the streets and started to protest against the Government demanding release of all the political prisoners.
- JP leader Qasim Ibrahim and owner of villa groups,who is currently in exile in Germany, his resort was raided by the Police and his son Siyad Qasim was arrested.
- Later in the night, Justice Ali Hameed was admitted to Indira Gandhi Hospital, due to a heart problem, no update has been given on his health condition till now.
- Ruling Party PPM activists gathered outside the Supreme Court and protested against the Chief Justice order to release of nine political prisoners .
- At the end of the day, Former Defense Minister, Mohamed Nazim transferred back to jail.Day -3
- Police raided the house of Justice Ali Hameed and arrested his Wife along with his Sister-In-Law.
- Tourism Ministry Coordinator threatened to kill Ahmed Mehloof.
- Justice Ali Hameed was suspended by the Judicial Service Commission.
- Raajje TV shut down their telecast because they were getting threats from State and Non-State actors.
By every passing day, the conditions in the Maldives are getting worse and the protest is still going on since people have refused to go back till the Supreme Court’s order is implemented. Yameen cleverly declared the State of Emergency. But, what he cannot do is to suppress the Voice of Maldivian People demanding justice and rule of law.