Maldives Extends State of Emergency

Maldivian opposition protestors shout slogans demanding the release of political prisoners during a protest in Male, Maldives.
Maldivian opposition protestors shout slogans demanding the release of political prisoners during a protest in Male, Maldives. // Photo by AP Photo/Mohamed Sharuhaan via Newscred

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen has extended the state of emergency in the Maldives by another 30 days. The state of emergency was first declared earlier this month when President Yameen defied a Supreme Court ruling to reinstall opposition members of parliament and release political prisoners.

Reuters reports that, since the state of emergency was first issued, the government has moved to arrest the chief justice, another Supreme Court judge and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on charges of attempting to usurp power. President Yameen has also jailed opposition members and fired two police chiefs who said that they would uphold the court rulings.

Since the state of emergency was first declared luxury hotels in the destination have maintained that it would not affect the resort islands, which are far from the capital of Malé. The Four Seasons reports that its hotels in the Maldives, including the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Private Island at Voavah and Four Seasons Explorer, are continuing to operate as usual.

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The Maldives Ministry of Tourism reports that all international airports, including Velana International Airport and all domestic airports, will continue to maintain full operation.

The State Department’s travel advisory for the Maldives, which was updated after the state of emergency was first declared, remains at level 2 out of 4: Exercise Increased Caution. The State Department cited the risk of terrorism in its advisory, noting that attacks may target tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls and local government facilities. Travelers are advised to continue monitoring local media, remain aware of their surroundings and stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.

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