The former secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, declared late Friday that democracy, progress and public security of the Maldives are in a fragile state, calling on the government to revert back to the law.
In a statement, Annan raised concerns over the actions of President Abdulla Yameen’s regime regarding independent institutions, which he claimed were in violation of the spirit of democracy. He also expressed alarm over the government’s refusal to comply with the Supreme Court’s shock ruling on February 1, in which the five justices had unanimously ordered the release of nine prominent political leaders.
Annan urged the government to stop intimidating judges, and to execute the top court’s verdict to free the politicians and lift the ongoing state of emergency.
He further urged that the presidential elections slated for this year must be held with the participation of independent institutions, adding that the world must not remain complacent in this issue.
Several foreign forces had voiced concerns over the government’s refusal to execute the apex court’s order to free political prisoners, including countries such as India, Sri Lanka, USA, Germany and UK, and organisations including Amnesty International and the UN Human Rights Council.
Amidst pressure to comply with the ruling unconditionally, President Yameen had declared a state of emergency on February 5, and subsequently arrested Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Judge Ali Hameed, Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom over bribery accusations.
Following the arrests of Saeed and Hameed, the remaining three judges of the Supreme Court had revised its ruling to revoke the order to free the political prisoners. The new developments saw an increased barrage of criticism and pressure on the government.