A UN rights group said yesterday the detention of two Supreme Court judges in the tiny Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives was an attack on the independence of the judiciary and undermined the rule of law.
Regional power India has joined Britain, the United States and the United Nations in calling for the lifting of last week's state of emergency and the freeing of the two judges.
The Muslim-majority Maldives, best known for its luxury beach resorts, has been in crisis since the Supreme Court quashed convictions ranging from corruption to terrorism of nine opposition figures, and ordered the government to release them.
President Abdulla Yameen defied the ruling and the judges were arrested. He said he ordered the state of emergency and put down a coup.
"This direct attack on the Supreme Court undermines its legitimacy and independence, and casts serious doubt on its ability to protect constitutional principles and to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms," the UN group said in a statement.