President of Kulhudhufushi island council summoned for questioning

The chair of the seven-member Haa Dhaal Kulhudhufushi island council, Ibrahim Rameez, was summoned by police for questioning last night, according to a community online newspaper.

The former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) won all seven seats of the Kulhudhufushi island council in February 2011. The island is the major population hub north of Male’.

According to the community website, Ramiz had refused to comply with two previous summons and had been released after questioning last night. Police suspect the councillor’s involvement in disturbances during a protest outside the island’s police station on February 8.

Protests were sparked across the country following a brutal crackdown by police on a peaceful MDP walk across Male’, led by deposed President Mohamed Nasheed who had announced that he was forced to resign under duress.

The Kulhudhufushi council had issued a statement declaring it does not recognise the government of Dr Mohamed Waheed.

Meanwhile, newspaper Haveeru reported yesterday that police released three of four Addu City councillors detained on February 9 and arrested an additional councillor. The five-member Addu City Council was also won by MDP.

Three released councillors were Hussein Fahmy, Hussein Hilmy and Abdulla Thoyyib. The latter had been arrested last Thursday.

Deputy Mayor Hassan Shahid remains under house arrest. Feydhoo councillor Ahmed Mirzad was taken into custody last night.

Mid-Hithadhoo MP for MDP Mohamed Rasheed had also been arrested in the crackdown but released shortly thereafter.

However according to MDP, more of its councillors across the country continue to be taken into custody. According to Milandhoo MP Riza, three of the island’s councillors were “paraded in handcuffs”.

Ihavandhoo MP Ahmed Abdulla has meanwhile condemned police intimidation of island councillors as no violence or destruction of property was reported in the island.