UN rights chief condemns ‘all-out assault on democracy’ on Maldives

The UN’s top human rights official called on the Maldives government on Wednesday to immediately lift the state of emergency imposed two days ago. The Maldives has been in crisis since last week, when the Supreme Court quashed convictions ranging from corruption to terrorism of nine opposition figures, Reuters said. President Abdulla Yameen’s government rejected the ruling and imposed an emergency on Monday, arresting the chief justice and another judge of the court the next day. “President Yameen has… usurped the authority of the state’s rule-of-law institutions and its ability to work independently from the executive,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, UN high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement. What is happening now “is tantamount to an all-out assault on democracy,” the commissioner said.