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Maldives military throws opposition MPs out of parliament

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15 February 2018

A day after military personnel in Maldives blocked opposition members of parliament from entering the parliament, it threw all members of the opposition out of parliament on Wednesday, deepening the political crisis in the Indian Ocean nation.

"Parliament under military siege in #Maldives parliament today members were thrown out of the parliament building compound," tweeted Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader Thilafaiy.

Thilafaiy further wrote, "Opposition Parliamentarians thrown out over the gates of the Parliament House by the military."

"Security forces literally throws an MP out of the Majlis premises! The Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed was telling the truth when he said he was forcefully dragged on the floor from his chambers," tweeted MDP secretary general Anas Abdul Sattar

Massive protests had erupted after President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom refused to follow the Supreme Court's ruling to release key political prisoners and reinstate the 12 MPs.

President Gayoom also declared a state of emergency in Maldives for a period of 15 days after defying the Supreme Court order.

Earlier this month, the Maldivian Supreme Court had acquitted former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldivian vice president Ahmed Adeeb and ordered the release of all political prisoners wrongly detained.

The Supreme Court had had further said that their trials were "politically influenced".

The government has so far refused to implement the order, saying it had concerns about releasing those who were convicted for "terrorism, graft, embezzlement and treason".

Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected leader, took office in 2008. He was ousted in a coup in February 2012.

The country has seen political unrest since he was sentenced to 13 years in jail in 2015 on terrorism charges. He was given political asylum in the UK in 2016.





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