A few hours after the Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed resigned office, the Chief Justice of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed, was released on Tuesday night.

The arrest of the judge was one of the immediate causes of Mr. Nasheed’s fall from power. He had ordered the arrest of the judge on charges of corruption, irked by the fact that Mr. Abdullah set free an Opposition politician who was arrested by police loyal to Mr. Nasheed.

Amnesty demand

The new authorities in the Maldives must avoid persecuting members of outgoing president Mohamed Nasheed’s political party, Amnesty International said today, after Mr. Nasheed resigned following a police mutiny in the country.

At least three senior members of the ex-president's Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) were reportedly detained after being beaten by police and opposition supporters on Monday night.

"The events of the last days follow weeks of political paralysis and a breakdown of accountability and the rule of law," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director. "The new government must ensure that it will protect the rights of all Maldivians equally, without regard to their political affiliation."

The MDP says the resignation of Mr. Nasheed is a “coup d’état” orchestrated by “rogue elements” from the Maldives police service aided by supporters of former President Mamoon Abdul Gayoom.

Mr. Nasheed’s former ally and vice-president Waheed Hassan was sworn as president on Tuesday afternoon.

MDP members Mariya Didi, Eva Abdulla and Alham Fahmy sustained injuries after being attacked by police and opposition supporters on Monday and were taken to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Mohamed Nasheed was elected president in the Maldives' first multi-party elections in October 2008, ending the 30-year rule of authoritarian leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

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