Maldives security forces fired tear gas at crowds of opposition supporters celebrating the country’s Supreme Court ruling on Friday. 

The Supreme Court ruled to order an immediate release and retrial of the exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed and other opposition leaders.

It declared that their original trials violated a constitutional and international law.

The recent Supreme Court’s ruling effectively reinstitutes the opposition majority in parliament, returning back to power 12 members who had been removed from their seats.

The police had announced on Twitter that they were pleased with the legality of the ruling and would enforce it.

However, the police commissioner Ahmed Areef was then fired by Attorney General Mohamed Anil at a late-night press conference.

It was reported that Ahmed Arref had been fired because he was uncontactable and unwilling to cooperate with the attorney general following the ruling.

The president was disheartened by the police commissioner’s decision to uphold the ruling.

The attorney general said the government was still reviewing the court order.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, Maldives’ first democratically elected leader, was convicted in 2015, led to political unrest in the Maldives ever since then.

The international community has condemned the conviction and 13-year sentence of former President Mohamed Nasheed, arguing his conviction was politically motivated and against international law.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed was given political asylum in the United Kingdom, but he is currently living in Sri Lanka.

Former Vice-President Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor and other opposition leaders were among the others named in the latest order.

The Supreme Court called for their immediate release and argued the questionable and politically motivated nature of the trials of the political leaders warrant a re-trial.

Nasheed urged President Abdulla Yameen to step down from his position as president.

It was also reported that Nasheed planned to return to Malé, a city in the Maldives, in the coming weeks.

“I will move forward wisely with the advice of the party and the united parties,” he said.

The Maldives has been ruled autocratically for decades by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayhoom.

The country’s overhaul to a multi-party democracy began in 2008, but since President Yameen assumed office as president in 2013, it has faced questions over freedom of speech, the detention of the oppositions and the independence of the judiciary.

The Indian Ocean country is made up of 26 coral atolls and 1,192 individual islands, and is popular among foreigners as a luxury tourist destination.


More details to follow. Image 1 of former President Mohamed Nasheed from Al Jazeera.

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