Police have questioned President of the Adhaalath Party, Sheikh Imran Abdullah, and Abdullah Mohamed, head of the NGO coalition organising a religious rally on December 23, regarding slogans calling for the murder of “anyone against Islam”.
The slogans published on the website, 23December.com, were subsequently removed by the organisers who attributed them to “a mistake on the technical teams’ side.”
Sub-Inspector of Police Ahmed Shiyam told Minivan New that Abdullah and Sheikh Imran were summoned to the police headquarters at 1:00pm on Tuesday concerning a case under investigation. He did not reveal any further information.
However speaking to the press after police questioning, Abdullah and Sheikh Imran’s lawyer, former State Minister of Islamic Ministry Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, confirmed that police asked them about the slogans published on the website.
Shaheem said that slogans calling for murder were not on the website when it was launched, adding that the “content were manipulated by some people spying on the website”.
Abdullah who is the lead organiser of the the protest, also told Minivan News on Tuesday that they had not seen the slogans calling for murder until the day after the launch. “We corrected the mistake as soon as it was brought to our notice,” Abdullah said.
He said the slogans were earlier attributed as a “mistake on technical team’s side” after they identified some loop holes in the website security, adding that their “suspicions were confirmed” when the website was hacked on Tuesday morning.
The hackers replaced the website with green skulls and a statement reading “We’ll come out against you with machetes if you protest.”
Abdullah restated that the protest will be a “peaceful gathering” and they would ensure “no violence takes place from their side”.
However, he raised concerns over the attacks on their website and groups opposing the protest noting that “they might create violence during the gathering”.
Speaking at a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally last night Mohamed President Nasheed has promised that should the protests target Maldivians, “The government and MDP will come out in defence of the people. We’ll not come out on the streets with the defence forces but with bare hands. No one can confront us on these streets,” Nasheed was reported as saying.
MDP national council has meanwhile passed a resolution today, to stand against the religious rally.
The resolution was passed with 45 votes out of 52 members who participated in the council meeting.