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China warns against external interference as Maldives seeks India's help

Exiled former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has also accused authorities of ill-treating Justice Ali Hameed and has sought release of President Gayoom

IANS  |  Male/Colombo 

nasheed, maldives
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In a widening emergency crackdown, the of Maldivian on Wednesday arrested three family members of jailed Ali Hameed, even as exiled former reiterated his appeal to to intervene militarily to resolve the country's deepening crisis.

Following the Supreme Court's unprecedented ruling to free Nasheed and nine other high-profile political prisoners on February 1, had declared a 15-day state of emergency earlier this week and curbed the powers of the before ordering the arrest of Abdulla Saeed, Hameed and

According to a family member, the police had taken a younger sibling of Hameed's wife under custody late on Tuesday, before arresting another of her younger siblings and their spouse on Wednesday. The police also raided their residences and seized a laptop on Tuesday night.

The Police Service also said they had evidence to show that Saeed, Hameed and the had "accepted millions in bribes".

Meanwhile, Judge Hameed was rushed to the hospital early on Wednesday following a cardiac problem, according to a report by

Amid the ongoing turmoil, Nasheed repeated his appeal to to intervene militarily in the archipelago country, saying that seeking an to the ongoing crisis could lead to chaos.

He said his countrymen view New Delhi's role "positively" and during the 1988 crisis was "not occupiers but liberators".

He tweeted: 

 On Tuesday he had requested from India "a physical presence" and to "send an envoy, backed by its military" for the release of judges and political detainees including former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President Abdulla Yameen's half-brother.

The tweet by Nasheed, a friend of India, came as Beijing, in an apparent reference to New Delhi, on Wednesday cautioned against outside interference in the Maldives' internal affairs, saying it would "complicate" the situation.

also denied allegations that Yameen had its backing and said follows the principles of non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs.

"The current situation in the is its internal affair. It should be properly resolved through dialogue and consultation by relevant parties," said.

"The international community should play a constructive role based on the principle of respecting the sovereignty of the instead of taking actions that may complicate the current situation," Geng said.

"We hope the relevant parties in the Maldives will resolve the issues through consultation and restore the national stability and social order as soon as possible," he said.

Nasheed, who has been living in self-exile in for the past few months, also accused authorities of ill-treating judge and sought an immediate release of the judge along with Gayoom.

"President Gayoom and the Judges must be released immediately. I am told President Gayoom is not taking food, while (jailed Supreme Court) Justice has been ill-treated," he said.

India had in a strong statement said that it is "disturbed" by the situation in the Maldives.

Meanwhile, the UN for Human Rights Ra'ad has termed the Maldives state of emergency an "all-out assault on democracy".

"The suspension of several functions of the judiciary and Parliament, and the restrictions on a series of constitutional rights create a dangerous concentration of power in the hands of the president," said

"President Yameen has, to put it bluntly, usurped the authority of the State's and its ability to work independently from the executive," the said. "The Maldives has seen in recent years attacks on political opponents, on journalists, on and human right defenders, and what is happening now is tantamount to an all-out assault on democracy."

He called on the Maldives to lift the State of Emergency immediately, to respect the institutions and their competencies as provided for in the Constitution, and to respect the fundamental rights of all people and the rule of law, in line with the Maldives' obligations under international human rights law, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Meanwhile, the said in a statement that it was committed to ensuring the safety of all residents in the nation irrespective of nationality.

It said that "the situation in the Maldives remains stable and the state of emergency does not force any restriction on movement in the country."

"All international airports... and all domestic airports, seaplane operations, tourist resorts, all allied tourism-related infrastructure, schools and banks are operating under normal conditions," the statement added.

The (EU) also called for the lifting of the state of emergency in the country.

First Published: Thu, February 08 2018. 08:55 IST