Maldives lifts emergency

Updated 11 November 2015
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Maldives lifts emergency

MALE, Maldives: The Maldives government Tuesday bowed to mounting international pressure and lifted a state of emergency imposed last week after an alleged plot to blow up the president onboard his speedboat.
The government said it had decided to end the week-long emergency after the Indian Ocean archipelago’s security forces advised President Abdulla Yameen that “the overall security situation in the country has improved.”
“The Government of the Maldives today has lifted the state of emergency in the country with immediate effect,” said a Foreign ministry Statement.
“With the lifting of the state of emergency, all fundamental rights that were suspended, have been restored.”
Yameen imposed the state of emergency last Wednesday in a move that gave wider powers to police and armed forces to arrest and suspending freedom of assembly and movement.
The former colonial power Britain as well as the United States, the European Union and neighboring Sri Lanka had called for an immediate end to the emergency which was seen as a tool to suppress dissent.
The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) welcomed the end of emergency rule, saying the decision to invoke the emergency was designed to give the government legal cover to crack down on its opponents and impeach his own estranged Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.
The Maldives, a popular destination for honeymooners, has been rocked by political unrest in recent months, which reached new heights last week when Adeeb’s impeachment was fast-tracked using emergency laws.
“Yameen’s increasingly erratic, paranoid and dangerous behavior is damaging the country and proves he is unfit to be president,” the MDP said in a statement. “He has failed and should step down.”
Adeeb, whose predecessor was also impeached in July, has been accused of high treason over an explosion on the presidential speedboat in September that left Yameen unhurt but injured his wife and one of his bodyguards.
Yameen had insisted that it was necessary to use draconian powers to deal with at least three attempts to kill him and the stability of the nation of 340,000 Sunni Muslims living in a cluster of 1,192 tiny coral islands across the equator in the Indian Ocean.


Pakistan’s top court grants bail to former PM Sharif on medical grounds

Updated 6 min 52 sec ago
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Pakistan’s top court grants bail to former PM Sharif on medical grounds

  • Nawaz Sharif is serving a seven-year sentence imposed last year for failing to disclose his source of income to acquire Al-Azizia Steel Mills

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to release former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on bail for six weeks to receive medical treatment but said he would not be allowed to leave the country.
Sharif is serving a seven-year sentence imposed last year for failing to disclose the source of income that allowed him to acquire the Al-Azizia Steel Mills in Saudi Arabia. He has appealed.
The case was heard by a three-judge panel headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
The three-time former premier has been suffering from a heart condition and kidney problems and has been admitted to hospital. A previous bail appeal was rejected last month.
The Supreme Court removed Sharif from office in July 2017 for not disclosing part of a salary drawn from his son’s company and he was later convicted in two separate cases of failing to disclose sources of income.
In one of those cases, over the ownership of upmarket properties in London, the high court granted him bail last September, suspending a 10-year sentence until a final decision on his appeal against the conviction.
The appeal process in both cases is continuing.
Sharif has termed the charges against him politically motivated and accused the military and courts of working together to end his political career and destabilize his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party.