MDP Expresses Concern Over Maldives’ State of Emergency

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has expressed concern over President Yameen’s imposition of a State of Emergency, labeling the move “disproportionate” and “a desperate attempt, by a President who is losing his grip, to cling onto power.”

President Yameen declared a nationwide state of emergency this morning, ostensibly for a period of 30 days. Attorney General, Mohamed Anil read out the statement from the President, declaring a state of emergency under Article.253 of the Constitution due to the threat posed to national security following the alleged explosion aboard the Presidential speedboat on 28 September.

MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said:

“President Yameen has lost control of the country. He has openly admitted having no proper control over the police or the military and for the past four months, hasn’t been receiving any police intelligence reports.

“His paranoid regime lurches from crisis to crisis. Yameen has jailed or threatened every opposition leader, placed criminal charges against 1,700 opposition activists, and is now turning on his own by jailing the Vice President. For the good of the nation, it is time for Yameen to resign.”

An attempt to impeach VP Adeeb

The MDP believes that the President has imposed the State of Emergency primarily in order to impeach Vice President Adeeb, who has been detained under questionable circumstances.

Immediately following the State of Emergency announcement, Vice President Adeeb was informed that the notice period for the parliamentary no confidence motion against him had been reduced from 14 to 7 days.

Meanwhile, the Maldives Broadcasting Commission has issued a notice to all media outlets telling them to refrain from broadcasting anything that “risks national security”. Media outlets have been instructed to circulate information about the current situation only after confirmation from official sources.

The MDP believes that declaration of emergency is a direct response to the Government’s insecurity in assuring the upcoming no confidence vote against VP Adeeb, and to disrupt the MDP’s large protest due to take place on 6 November.

Freedoms Suspended

With the imposition of the State of Emergency, the following rights accorded by the Constitution are suspended or restricted:

Article 19 “A citizen is free to engage in any conduct or activity that is not expressly prohibited by Islamic Shari’ah or by law. No control or restraint may be exercised against any person unless it is expressly authorised by law.”

Article 24 “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his private communications. Every person must respect these rights with respect to others.”

Article 31 “Every person employed in the Maldives and all other workers have the freedom to stop work and to strike in order to protest.”

Article 32 “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly without prior permission of the state.”

Article 41 (a) Every citizen has the freedom to enter, remain in and leave the Maldives, and to travel within the Maldives.”

Article 45 (except section on arrest) Article 45: “Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained, arrested or imprisoned except as provided by law enacted by the People’s Majlis in accordance with Article 16 of this Constitution.”

Article 47 (a) and (b): “No person shall be subject to search or seizure unless there is reasonable cause,” and, “Residential property shall be inviolable, and shall not be entered without the consent of the resident, except to prevent immediate and serious harm to life or property, or under the express authorisation of an order of the Court.

Other Actions imposed by the State of Emergency:

Article 100 (d) the 14 day period to be reduced to 7 days.

At least fourteen days notice of the debate in the Parliament concerning such a resolution shall be given to the President or Vice President, and the President or the Vice President shall have the right to defend himself in the sittings of the People’s Majlis, both orally and in writing, and has the right to legal counsel.

The President does not have the power to amend the Constitution and can only suspend rights under Chapter 2 of the Constitution.

Laws suspended under the State of Emergency:

1/2013 The right to Assembly.