Police say they have concluded investigation into the arson attacks against government offices and the police station on Thinadhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll on February 8, a day which saw protests erupt across the country after a brutal police crackdown on a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protest against the party’s controversial ousting from power the previous day.
According to a statement from police, the names of 108 people involved in the arson attacks were sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office, to be forwarded to the Criminal Court for prosecution.
The police station, island court and atoll council office were burnt to the ground by angry protesters in Thinadhoo. Similar scenes erupted in Addu Atoll, the second most populated area in the Maldives after the capital.
In March, spokesperson for new President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, Abbas Adil Riza, said “the government will not negotiate in releasing those arrested and charged for terrorism, and will not let them be considered political prisoners,” in reference to MDP protesters held in custody following the riots.
In May the MDP claimed that the Prosecutor General (PG) had filed charges against 60 MDP members for obstruction of police duty during the party’s three-month series of protests. If charges are proved, the accused may be jailed for six months or fined up to Rf 12,000 (US$800) each.
Some of the MDP supporters charged during that time have been summoned to the Criminal Court, and trials are ongoing.
Meanwhile, the MDP has been continuing its calls for the government to release MDP supporters charged for their participation in MDP rallies.