February 17, 2020

Maldives government refuses to obey court order to release prisoners

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A Maldivian opposition supporter stands facing police during a protest demanding the release of political prisoners in Male, , Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. The exiled former president of the said Friday that the government must abide by a Supreme Court ruling to free a group of political prisoners, hours after clashes erupted in the Indian Ocean archipelago’s capital in the wake of the surprise verdict. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sharuhaan)

From News & Star UK

Protests have spilled into the streets of the capital, Male, and soldiers in riot gear have stopped MPs from entering the parliament building.

The surprise judicial ruling last week has led to an increasingly tense stand-off between the supreme court and the government of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Protests have spilled into the streets of the capital, Male, and soldiers in riot gear have been deployed to the parliament building to stop MPs from meeting.

Legal affairs minister Azima Shakoor said “the government does not believe that the supreme court ruling to release the political prisoners can be enforced”.

She explained the decision by saying that the supreme court had not acted on a series of government letters, saying there were “numerous challenges” to implementing the ruling.

On Sunday, a supreme court statement said that “there are no obstacles in implementing the ruling and releasing political prisoners and that this has been informed to the ’s office”.

There was no immediate comment from ’s main rival, exiled former president , who is among the prisoners ordered freed.

The supreme court ruled that the political leaders’ guilty verdicts had been politically influenced. The ruling has led to protests by opposition supporters urging the government to obey the order.

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

Mr Nasheed has been living in exile in the UK since 2016 after being granted asylum when he travelled there on medical leave from prison.

IMAGES:

Protesters have gathered in the capital (AP)

Guilty verdicts against several people, including former president Mohamed Nasheed, were found to have been politically influenced (AP)

For more on this story go to: http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/national/article/Maldives-government-refuses-to-obey-court-order-to-release-prisoners-17d6bc4e-01e3-4e92-8b0b-7ab902e4505d-ds

 

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