UN Security Council to take up Maldives crisis

AFP – The UN Security Council will on Thursday discuss the crisis in the Maldives after the president declared a state of emergency in the Indian Ocean island, diplomats said.

During a closed-door meeting, the council will hear a report by the UN political affairs department, which asked the top UN body to take up the matter, diplomats said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged the government of the Maldives to lift the state of emergency imposed by President Abdulla Yameen whose security forces stormed the supreme court.

The supreme court had ordered the release from jail of former president and opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed and eight other political prisoners, but on Tuesday it rescinded the order.

Nasheed risks re-arrest if he returns as promised to run against Yameen in presidential elections due later this year.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Wednesday accused Yameen of trying to destroy 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 Zeid.

"What is happening now is tantamount to an all-out assault on democracy."

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