Opponents of the Maldives government have clashed with police on the streets of the capital as they demanded the release of imprisoned politicians whose convictions were overturned by the Supreme Court.

The court late Thursday had ordered the release of a jailed former vice president as well as ex-President Mohamed Nasheed, who lives in exile in Britain, because it found their guilty verdicts had been influenced by the government.

Hundreds of people celebrated in Male by waving the country's flag, but police dispersed the crowds using pepper spray and batons. Rocks were thrown at police and at least one officer was injured.

Maldives became a multiparty democracy 10 years ago but lost much of those gains after President Yameen Abdul Gayoom was elected in 2013.