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India on Monday issued a travel advisory, warning to its citizens to defer all non-essential travel to the Maldives as President Abdulla Yameen imposed an emergency in the atoll nation following a Supreme Court order last week seeking the release of nine political detainees including former president Mohammed Nasheed.

Earlier in the day, opposition members of parliament urged foreign intervention, calling on the global community "to impress upon the government of Maldives the need to respect the rule of law, and implement last Thursday's Supreme Court ruling that ordered the release of political leaders and the reinstatement of 12 opposition MPs".

Security forces also on Monday arrested the country's former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the ex-president's spokesman said.

The constitutional rights suspended president Yameen has effectively quashed any moves by the opposition to impeach him while also stripping the Supreme Court of any authority.

Opposition supporters have staged street protests lobbying the government to obey the court order and have urged the global community to do what it can to persuade the government to obey the ruling.

"The military seems to be in charge tonight", said Mickail Naseem, president of the Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s youth wing, who was among the protesters.

On Monday, the tension escalated when Maldives National Defense Forces reportedly broke into the Supreme Court in the capital city of Male.

In addition to former president Mohamed Nasheed, the other political leaders named in the order included Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla, former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor and deposed ruling party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's lawmaker son Faris Maumoon.

It said it had been advised by the Chief Justice to follow "due process in releasing the detainees".


In 1988, Sri Lankan militants working for a Maldivian businessman tried to take control of the country and seized control of many government buildings.

"I have not anything to warrant my arrest".

He also called on the U.S.to stop Maldives government officials from making transactions through US banks. I call on their families and friends to warn them.

The United States urged government restraint on Monday.

The White House National Security Council said in a statement: "America stands with the people of Maldives".

"Once again, dissent and critical voices are coming under attack in the Maldives", said Dinushika Dissanayake, Amnesty International's South Asia deputy director. "In the spirit of democracy and rule of law, it is imperative for all organs of the Government of Maldives to respect and abide by the order of the apex court", MEA had said.

Earlier in the day, China told its citizens not to visit the Maldives until normalcy returns in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation, which is witnessing political turmoil.

"During this time, though certain rights will be restricted, general movements, services and businesses will not be affected", said a statement from the office of the President.


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