Maldives urged to free detainees held in state of emergency

Amnesty International has urged authorities in the Maldives to immediately release officials detained during the state of emergency declared this month by President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

The group said in a statement Tuesday the detainees must be released unless they are "promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence."

The Maldives has been in political turmoil since Feb. 1 when the Supreme Court ordered the release of a group of Yameen's political opponents imprisoned after convictions criticized for alleged due process violations.

Under the emergency law, Yameen had two Supreme Court judges arrested, accusing them of corruption.

The remaining three judges then annulled the order to release Yameen's opponents.

Yameen's half brother and former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was also arrested, accused of conspiring with the opposition to overthrow the government.