Protesting that “disturbs public” against constitution: Attorney General files case

The Attorney General’s Office has submitted a case claiming that causing public disturbances in the name of political protest is against the constitution.

The case, submitted in September, requests the Supreme Court to rule that such protests are against some articles of the constitution.

This includes disturbing the public, using foul language, protesting in a manner that instills fear into the hearts of children and the elderly.

Deputy Leader of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Dr Abdullah Mausoom said that people should have the right to the protest, but argued that Maldivians also “don’t want their daily lives disrupted.”

“We have such polarised parties here that are from one extreme to the other, it is expected that people protest.

“However when it disrupts the lives of people, like how the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) camped in one of the parks for weeks, it’s not right,” Mausoom added.

Earlier this year, the MDP set up a protest camp in the surf point area of the city following former president Mohamed Nasheed’s controversial resignation.

In March, security forces cleared the area in response to the violence that had engulfed the city on the morning of the raid, a police spokesperson told Minivan News at the time.

Police alleged that people had been committing crimes and threatening police before retreating to the MDP camp. The MDP claimed the action was a clamp down on freedom of assembly.

Police completely cleared the tsunami monument camp after Attorney General Azima Shukoor told the press that the area belonged to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), and claimed that Male’ City Council did not have authority to give the area to the MDP.

In May, a second MDP camp at Usfasgandu was raided by police after a search warrant was obtained from the Criminal Court.

Reasons for the search as stated on the warrant included: “suspected criminal activity”, “damage to public property”, and “suspected black magic performed in the area”.

President’s Office Spokesman Masood Imad, told Minivan News that the government fully supports the right to protest, but it needs to be done in such a manner that does not negatively affect the lives of others.

He said: “A protest should be about changing something. A protest conducted in residential areas has nothing to do with parliament. Public protest and public nuisance are two very different things.”

The MDP meanwhile likened the move to Bahrain’s recent efforts to outlaw protesting.

“The MDP strongly condemns efforts to restrict freedom to assembly by the government. One of the most fundamental clauses in the new constitution is the right to protest and we are witnessing democratic gains fast slipping,” said MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor.

The AG office details that the activities detailed in their case breached the right to live, the right to privacy, the right to freedom of expression, the right to form political parties, the right to assembly and the right to provide special protection to children and the elderly.

All Supreme Court judges will be on the bench presiding over this case. The hearing has now been scheduled for Monday.


9 thoughts on “Protesting that “disturbs public” against constitution: Attorney General files case”

  1. I'm really much too entertained by what's going on in Palestine to be bother about this silly country, though its nice that the silly Maldivians are still carrying on with the task of dismantling your own democracy. Perhaps India should teach you a lesson about politics same way Israelis are teaching Palestinians, next time you protest against GMR.

  2. Male' is a small island of two kilometres, densely populated. Any protest however small will 'disturb' the public. This looks like nothing but an attempt to restrict freedom of Assembly.

  3. "... protesting in a manner that instills fear into the hearts of children and the elderly."

    Nice one. A catch-all clause that can be used to detain and take away the rights of any one at a whim by the regime. I've never heard of such clauses in use by any democracy in the world.

    Gayyoom used such clauses for 30 odd years!

  4. oh interesting, did they forget how the so called 23rd coalition disrupted this so called peace for 3 bloody weeks, oh and forcefully toppled the govt. Now its just a ploy to get people to stay quiet.

  5. If its not another tedious rampage through town to 'protect islam', its another bloody 'political protest' against the constitution!!
    Maldives must be the most unstable country in the Indian Ocean area..........this is sadly what happens when you have a bankrupt economy, too much islam and too much brown sugar floating around.
    A lethal bloody mix!!

  6. Nothing surprising here! Golhaa must be the "elderly" who pee's in his panties whenever there is a protest! He used to put up this farce of a threat of curbing the right to assemble and protest during his regime! And Azima Taakoor is too stupid to even deserve any comments on what she is doing! Nothing but a stupid attempt at curbing the rights of Maldivians to assemble and protest.

  7. Anni and his associates thinks that this country belong to them and rest of the people to take a refuge here in Maldives.

    Anni and his gangs invaded the USFASGADU for months and months without even considering the rights of the other people.

    I am living close by this area and the noises and filthy languages that these guys used are unbearable .

    I sometimes wonder where the human rights commission is ? Why they are not bothered about the rights of the neighbor hood who have been deprived of the sleep , etc.

  8. Actually the case filed by the AG is much more reasoned and very much in the interest of the public.

    The MDP and Minivan stands to lose support from sane educated persons by defending the right to conduct violent assemblies.

    The universal standard the world over is to advocate for and defend the right to PEACFUL assembly. Read the word in caps.

    Revolutionary protests are protected when powerful interests wish to destabilize a country for their own benefits. I fear this is not the case in the Maldives.

  9. How about declaring coups and police brutality to be against the constitution? Oh but then again no way the coalition can stay in power with such a declration eh.


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