France today called for restoration of normalcy in the Maldives, with its embassy here saying that the country was concerned over the suspension of public freedom in the island nation following the declaration of emergency.
Maldives, which has seen several political crises since the ouster of its first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed in 2012, plunged into chaos last Thursday when the apex court ordered the release of nine imprisoned Opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were "politically motivated and flawed".
The Abdulla Yameen government refused to obey the Supreme Court's orders and declared a state of emergency in the country.
"France is concerned by the suspension of public freedoms and by the arrests that took place following the declaration of the state of emergency in the Maldives. We call for a swift return to the normal functioning of the institutions and for respect for the rule of law," an French Embassy statement said.
"France reaffirms its attachment to respect for fundamental freedoms, the freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the rights of the opposition," it said.
Maldives' Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after Yameen declared a state of emergency. Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was also arrested.
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