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Maldives Chief Justice detained as president declares martial law

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Maldives has been arrested after placing a court order on the President to release political prisoners, reports the BBC.

Chief Justice Abdualla Saeed and another judge were arrested hours after the Maldives government declared a state of emergency. The state of emergency gives a range of powers to the security forces to make arrests and ban public gatherings.

Last week the Supreme Court ordered the release of opposition politicians, whilst also ruling the 2015 trial of former President Mohameed Nasheed, who is now in exile, as unconstitutional.

In a tweet, former Maldives president, Mr Nasheed, asked for the US and India to help remove President Yameen, adding that he had illegally declared martial law in the Maldives.