UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged the government of the Maldives to lift the state of emergency and guarantee safety for its citizens, "including members of the judiciary."
The appeal comes after President Abdulla Yameen of the Maldives declared a state of emergency and his security forces stormed the Supreme Court. The court's chief justice and another judge were also arrested.
Guterres "urges" the Maldivian government "to uphold the constitution and rule of law, lift the state of emergency as soon as possible, and take all measures to ensure the safety and security of the people in the country, including members of the judiciary," a statement from his spokesman Stephane Dujarric read.
The UN chief is "seriously concerned about the unfolding situation in the Maldives, in particular the declaration of a state of emergency and the entry of security forces into the Supreme Court premises," the statement said.
Yameen, facing threats from a galvanized political opposition to impeach him for alleged corruption, had earlier ordered a shutdown of parliament.
In a televised address to the nation, the president of the tiny Indian Ocean nation accused the judges of being part of a plot to overthrow him.