Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Monday declared a 15-day state of emergency, his aide Azima Shukoor announced, deepening the political crisis in the Indian Ocean nation.
The move gives sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects, and comes amid a tense standoff between the Supreme Court and the government.
The president has refused to comply with a court order to release political prisoners, despite growing international pressure and concern.
Shukoor read out the declaration on state television shortly after Yameen sent three letters to the judges asking them to reverse their decision.
This is the second time Yameen has declared a state of emergency. He last took the step in November 2015 after an alleged attempt to assassinate him.