MALE: Former President of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed and Judicial administrator Hassan Saeed have been arrested, just hours after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency in the country.
Maumoon along with his son-in-law was arrested by police after breaking down the door of his residence.
Abdulla Shahid, a former speaker of parliament, took to Twitter to inform about the arrest of Maumoon and his son-in-law.
He tweeted: "Former President Maumoom Abdul Gayoom and his son in law arrested by Special Operations @PoliceMv after breaking down the door to their residence. #MaldivesInCrisis #StateOfEmergency"
The arrest indicates that the crackdown on the opposition has intensified.
The President has refused to comply with the court's order to release political prisoners.
Team Maumoon took to Twitter to inform about all the arrest made early on Tuesday.
It tweeted, "We can confirm Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Ali Hameed and Administrator of Department of Judicial Administration arrested."
"First 8 hrs of State of emergency: Supreme Court raided, Mohamed Nadheem arrested, Pres. Maumoon arrested, SC Judge Ali Hameed arrested, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed arrested, Judicial administrator arrested. State of emergency declared just not to obey SC order? Is SoE Lawful?" said in another tweet.
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) urged people to stay united in this crisis.
The MDP tweeted from its official Twitter account, "Joint Opposition's parliamentarians call on the Maldivian people to be united in protecting the Constitution and to be unrelenting in seeking justice and reform. The MPs called on the regime to free former President @maumoonagayoom and his son-in-law @MNadhym immediately.
The United States has also expressed its support to the people of the Maldives and said the government must respect the law and democratic values.
"America stands with the people of Maldives. The Maldivian government and military must respect the rule of law, freedom of expression, and democratic institutions. The world is watching," the U.S. National Security Council tweeted.