Police say nine protesters still in custody

Maldives police on Monday revealed that only nine people remain in custody arrested during the serial opposition protests following the Supreme Court order on February 1.

The united opposition has been carrying out nightly protests in the capital Male calling on the government to release political prisoners and enforce the Supreme Court order of February 1.

Though hundreds had been arrested since February 1, police on Monday said only nine protesters remain detained which included three opposition lawmakers.

All the protesters are accused of disobeying the police and obstruction of police duty.

The island nation has been embroiled in fresh political turmoil after the Supreme Court on February 1 ordered the immediate release of jailed political leaders including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on February 5 had declared a 15 day state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.

As the state of emergency expired, president Yameen had got the parliament contentiously extend it by another 30 days.

President Yameen is facing mounting pressure even within the security forces after exploiting the rights suspended under emergency state to crackdown hard on the opposition as police have made a series of high profile arrests including former president Gayoom, three lawmakers, chief justice Abdulla Saeed, top court judge Ali Hameed and the chief judicial administrator.