Maldives police have arrested the country’s chief justice of the Supreme Court as a political crisis worsens in the country.

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after the government declared a state of emergency.

Police said both men were under investigation for corruption and that the court’s top administrator had also been detained.

The turmoil began when President Abdulla Yameen refused to obey a court order to release political dissidents.

The opposition have called the government moves a “purge” and there has been international condemnation.

Last week, the Supreme Court ordered the release of a group of opposition politicians.

It also ruled that the 2015 trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed, who is living in exile, had been unconstitutional.

It was followed by a pledge from the country’s police commissioner that he would enforce the court’s ruling. In response, the government of President Adulla Yameen sacked him.

The army has now been ordered to resist any attempt to impeach or remove President Yameen.

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