State of emergency declared in the Maldives

State of emergency declared in the Maldives

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office today confirmed that the president of the Maldives has declared a state of emergency across the whole country for an initial period of 30 days.

The government of Maldives has said there will be no restrictions on tourist movements and that tourist resorts are unlikely to be significantly affected, according to the FCO.

However, British travellers should take extra care and follow local advice.

The move came two days ahead of a planned protest by the main opposition Maldivian Democratic party (MDP), whose leader, Mohamed Nasheed, is in jail after a widely criticised conviction under anti-terror laws.

“President Yameen has declared (a) state of emergency to ensure the safety and security of every citizen,” his spokesman, Muaz Ali, tweeted.

The MDP rally in the Maldives capital, Malé, is aimed at pressuring Yameen to release Nasheed.

The move comes at a time of heightened tensions in the Indian Ocean island nation following an explosion aboard president Yameen’s speedboat on September 28 that wounded his wife and two others.

Yameen was unharmed in the blast, and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has said there is no evidence it was caused by a bomb.

But the authorities say it was an attempt on his life and Yameen arrested his deputy, Ahmed Adeeb, last month after accusing him of high treason and linking him to the boat blast.

This week, the Maldivian National Defence Force said it had found a remote-controlled bomb near the president’s official residence and safely defused it.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its travel advice to the Maldives last week.

The FCO said: “There’s a heightened risk of demonstrations taking place in Malé following the recent arrest and detention of vice-president Adeeb.

“Sporadic political protests are also taking place following the arrest of former president Nasheed earlier this year.

“Previous demonstrations have led to violence and arrests. You should take appropriate security precautions and avoid large gatherings, protests and rallies.

"There’s no British Embassy or Consulate in Maldives. If you need consular assistance you should contact the British High Commission in Sri Lanka.”


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