5 February 2018, COLOMBO: “President Yameen’s announcement today — which declares a State of Emergency, the banning of fundamental freedoms, and the suspension of the Supreme Court — is tantamount to a declaration of martial law in the Maldives. This declaration is unconstitutional and illegal. Nobody in the Maldives is required to, nor should, follow this unlawful order” – President Mohamed Nasheed
Furthermore, President Mohamed Nasheed on Monday spoke to the Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed regarding the current situation in the Maldives. President Nasheed and Chief Justice discussed the breakdown of rule of law and government institutions and expressed concern over these extremely worrying developments.
President Mohamed Nasheed expresses concern over President Yameen’s Government’s deliberate delay in implementing the Supreme Court ruling to immediately release political prisoners.
In the days since the ruling, members of the international community have all called upon the Government to abide by the apex court’s ruling and restore law and order. President Nasheed welcomes these statements and ongoing efforts made by the joint opposition to remind the Government of its constitutional duties.
President Nasheed further notes the repeated statements made by the Supreme Court clarifying that there are no legal obstructions in the implementation of their order. In his continued delay and in his instructions to his Attorney General and the Security Services, President Yameen and government officials continue to violate Article 141 of the Constitution which states, “all judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court, High Court and such courts as established by law”.
President Nasheed is deeply alarmed by reports of the Chief Justice, and other justices facing intimidation and increasing pressure by the authorities following the ruling. Reports of the Chief Justice, Justice Ali Hameed and the Administrator of the Department of Judicial Administration having to resort to confinement within the Supreme Court building due to increased intimidation is extremely concerning.
This deliberate refusal by the Government to uphold the constitution further destabilizes the Maldives and wider Indian Ocean security.
President Nasheed continues to engage with concerned international partners, including India and other neighbouring countries, seeking resolutions to the ongoing crisis and urges India to act swiftly.