Former President Nasheed Seeks Indian Intervention to End Maldives Emergency

Police officers arrest former president and opposition leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom center Tuesday after the government declared a state of emergency in Male Maldives

The Maldives opposition leader and two Supreme Court judges were arrested on Tuesday after Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency in the Indian Ocean nation amid a deepening political crisis after the court ordered the release of former President Mohamed Nasheed and other opposition leaders.

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen called a state of emergency on Monday and ordered soldiers to arrest his 80-year-old predecessor, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, his estranged half brother, who supported the main political opposition.

It said the judges, upon considering concerns raised by the president, had made a decision to "annul" a section ordering the release and re-trial of the nine people, seven of whom are imprisoned in the Maldives.

Last night, the Ministry of External Affairs advised citizens to "defer all non-essential travels" to Male, the capital of Maldives, and other atolls in the tiny island nation.

"We had to find out how thick the plot or coup was", he said, adding that the chief justice was trying to illegally impeach him and sack the attorney general.

The President's office said the court order to release prisoners was overstepping the mark and was an "infringement of national security and public interest".

China meanwhile said the political situation in the Maldives was an internal matter.

"We would also like the USA government to ensure that U.S. financial institutions stop all United States financial transactions of the regime leaders in the Maldives", he said. Nasheed, the opposition leader, unseated Gayoom in the country's first democratic elections in 2008.

Violent scenes erupted on the streets after President Abdulla Yameen defied a Supreme Court ruling handed down last week which revoked terrorism charges against nine leading opposition figures.

"The government has all the options on the table... but what needs to be kept in mind is that we do not want to hurt the people of Maldives".

The state of emergency gives security forces enhanced powers to make arrests, and means public gatherings are banned.

The United Nations and several foreign governments, including the United States, have urged the Maldives to respect the court order.

Malé, Maldives: Amnesty International on Tuesday called for the immediate release of top judges detained in the Maldives, warning the "eyes of the world" were on the worsening crisis in the troubled islands.

"We have contacted our customers there and there doesn't seem to be any problem as of now and there haven't been any cancellations as the Maldives government has issued a statement".

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