Maldives' Supreme Court handed a victory to the nation's embattled president after he orchestrated the arrests of 2 justices

Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images
  • The Supreme Court in the Maldives has reversed a controversial ruling which dismissed terrorism charges against opposition leaders.
  • The initial ruling was ignored by the country’s president who instead declared a state of emergency and arrested two Supreme Court justices.
  • The declaration also limited the court’s powers, but this restriction was lifted shortly before the ruling was reversed.

The Supreme Court in the Maldives has overturned a ruling that kick-started the nation’s political turmoil this week.

Last Thursday the court dismissed charges of terrorism against nine opposition leaders, and reinstated 12 legislators who lost their seats when they moved to the opposition in 2017.

President Abdulla Yameen refused to do so, and considered the decision a “coup,” and early on Tuesday morning declared a 15-day state of emergency. Doing so allowed security forces to arrest two of the Supreme Court justices, as well as suspend restrictions on unlawful arrests and prompt prosecutions.

The declaration also suspended an article of its constitution that stipulates the Supreme Court is the final legal authority in the country.

However, this restriction was lifted late Tuesday and, shortly afterwards, the remaining Supreme Court justices revised last week’s ruling and nullified the order to release the nine opposition figures.

In response, Yameen’s government said it”welcomed the Supreme Court’s revision.”

The US and governments worldwide have condemned the situation and urged Yameen to adhere to the original order.

Yameen has been president since 2013 has has jailed or exiled every major opposition figure, according to the US State Department.

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