On Wednesday, the government instituted a 30-day state of emergency after a crackdown on dissent and an alleged attempt to blow up the president, according to reports.
The state of emergency limits freedom of movement and assembly and makes it easier for security forces to make arrests. The move has been criticized by the governments of the U.S., the U.K. (its former colonial ruler) and the European Union, as well as campaigning group, Amnesty International.
"The decision to declare a state of emergency and suspend fundamental freedoms enshrined in the constitution of the Maldives is the latest in a series of worrying developments in the country. It is essential that all constitutional fundamental rights and freedoms are immediately restored and that due process of law is respected," the European Union said in a statement on Thursday.
Onlookers fear that the nation is sliding back towards authoritarianism, following the arrests this year of both the vice-president and former president.
On Wednesday, Vice-President Ahmed Adeeb was voted out of power, following his arrest last month on charges of treason. He is accused of attempting to assassinate the president, following a blast on his speedboat that left the leader unharmed but injured his wife.