The Maldives' government says it will not enforce a Supreme Court order to release and retry political prisoners, including a former president.
Legal Affairs Minister Azima Shakoor said on Monday that "the government does not believe that the Supreme Court ruling to release the political prisoners can be enforced."
The government response came after last week's court order that said the dissident political leaders' guilty verdicts had been politically influenced.
The ruling has led to protests by opposition supporters urging the government to obey the order. Clashes erupted between police and the political opponents on Thursday and Friday.
The United Nations and several foreign governments, including the United States, have urged the Maldives to respect the court order.