"This decision makes it possible, if the situation does not improve, to impose a travel ban and an asset freeze on relevant individuals and entities. This decision is a direct follow up to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 26 February 2018 on the Maldives. The Council considered that the situation was not in accordance with the principles of democratic rule and separation of powers, and indicated it may consider targeted measures if the situation did not improve," the statement said.
Following the Supreme Court's ruling, local media reported about possible attempts to start impeachment proceedings against acting President Abdulla Yameen, after which he declared the state of emergency.
In its February conclusions, the council called on the government of the Maldives "to engage with the leaders of the opposition in a genuine dialogue that paves the way for credible, transparent and inclusive Presidential elections."
The country's authorities accused Gayoom of bribing judges in order to overturn the conviction of the released opposition figures and facilitate the government's overthrow. Those detained were charged with terrorism in March.