'Maldives President Abdulla Yameen on Monday declared a state of emergency for 15 days and security forces stormed the Supreme Court in an escalation of a power struggle with the archipelago's top court.
Police also arrested former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom at his residence along with his son-in-law. Gayoom is Yameen's half-brother and ruled the country in the Indian Ocean for 30 years until 2008 but is now in the opposition.
His detention is further evidence of a bid by Yameen to strengthen his grip on power.
The president has defied a Supreme Court ruling ordering jailed opposition leaders to be freed, including Gayoom's son Farish, an opposition lawmaker.
Yameen has ruled since 2013 but faces mounting pressure at home and from the United States and India to release former president Mohamed Nasheed from a 13-year jail sentence and free eight other opponents from prison.
"The President has been compelled to declare a state of emergency due to the risk currently posed to national security," said a statement from the president's office. "Implementation of the Supreme Court ruling is – in its current form – incompatible with maintenance of public safety."'
Read more: Maldives declares state of emergency amid detention of opposition members
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