Police have summoned Umar Naseer, Vice President of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Dr Hassan Saeed, President of Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) for questioning at 9:00am tomorrow morning.
Police have stated that they aim to clarify information regarding an ongoing investigation.
Both men, and their parties, have been at the forefront of vocal and physical protests against the government over the last two weeks.
After alleging that the government is involved in “anti-Islamic conspiracies” and that President Mohamed Nasheed was “a madman elected by mistake” on local broadcaster DhiTV, party members Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and ‘Sandhaanu’ Ahmed Ibrahim Didi were summoned for questioning on January 14 for four consecutive nights, prompting public demonstrations for freedom of expression. Hassan Saeed was their lawyer.
In a 30-page pamphlet released on January 15, DQP accused the government of participating in anti-Islamic conspiracies and associating with Jews and Christian priests.
The President’s Office called the pamphlet “a litany of extremist, bigoted and hate-filled rhetoric aimed primarily at President Nasheed and his administration” which has “[undermined] the religious harmony of the country” by using the constitutionally-granted right to freedom of expression as an excuse to engage in hate speech.
In an effort to garner international support, a DQP delegation flew to Colombo to explain its position to embassies.
On January 14 Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed was arrested by military forces after attempting to block his own court order and was taken to a training facility on Girifushi, where he is currently being held. The charges against him include obstruction of justice and corrupt professional behavior.
Although Saeed filed the first complaint against Judge Mohamed in 2005, he has been an outspoken participant in the opposition-led protests to free the judge over the past 10 days.
Opposition parties claim that the judge’s detention constitutes a human rights violation; the case has been forwarded to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Umar Naseer, deputy leader of opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) until he was dismissed, assisted former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in forming PPM. The party was registered in late 2011, drawing membership from DRP in high quantities.
Speaking at a PPM rally last evening, Naseer said he was aware that Special Forces had appealed for an order from the High Court to apprehend him. Meanwhile, Gayoom has reportedly left the country.
Speaking at the same event Jumhooree Party (JP) President Gasim Ibrahim told the crowd that the government is bankrupt, citing a growing budget deficit and rumors of unpaid salaries.
Requesting the government to stop using Special Forces to carry out “crimes against the people”, Gassim asked opposition parties to “work together to restore freedom before it’s too late”, local media reports.