WASHINGTON: The White House on Monday pressed Maldivian leaders to safeguard democracy, after a 15-day state of emergency was declared.
"America stands with the people of Maldives," The National Security Council said in a tweet.
"The Maldivian government and military must respect the rule of law, freedom of expression, and democratic institutions. The world is watching," the council continued.
READ: 'Troubled' by Maldives crisis, US urges President Yameen to respect rule of law
Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen on Monday gave sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects amid a tense standoff between the Supreme Court and the government.
The president has refused to comply with a court order to release political prisoners, despite growing international pressure and concern.