US asks Maldives to lift emergency, restore rule of law

US asks Maldives to lift emergency, restore rule of law

US asks Maldives to lift emergency, restore rule of law

The United States today urged President Abdulla Yameen to lift the state of emergency in the Maldives and restore the rule of law.

"We continue to call on President Yameen to end the state of emergency, uphold the rule of law, permit the full and proper functioning of Parliament, and restore the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people of the Maldives," a State Department Spokesperson told PTI.

The spokesperson was responding to a question on the recent meetings that Maldivian opposition leaders have had with officials of the State Department and other wings of the Trump administration.

State Department officials met with the former Maldivian Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem in Washington on March 15, the spokesperson said.

"They exchanged perspectives on the current situation in the Maldives," the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on the Maldivian authorities to immediately free two journalists with opposition TV channel Raajje TV who have been held for the past four days and to "stop hounding" the country's opposition media.

"We urge the authorities to immediately release the two journalists, whose detention has been extended without any concrete evidence being produced to support a judicial investigation," said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF's Asia-Pacific desk.

"The authorities must stop harassing Raajje TV on the grounds that it does not support President Yameen's government.

"With the country under the yoke of an extended state of emergency, respect for media freedom is the best way to emerge from this persistent crisis and thereby serve the public interest," Bastard said.