The opposition alliance will bring an end to the government’s “brutality” through street protests, Adhaalath Party (AP) President Sheikh Imran Abdulla declared last night.
Speaking at last night’s protest by the “Maldivians against brutality” alliance, Imran referred to President Abdulla Yameen urging the opposition to prove allegations of the government’s unlawful actions at court and to file complaints of alleged rampant corruption at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
“After buying people at high prices to gain a majority of the People’s Majlis, after changing the judiciary, and bringing all independent institutions under his fist, when he says ‘go to the institutions,’ the Maldivian people are not fools,” Imran said.
“We will end this from the street. We will secure our rights from the street.”
In a statement issued yesterday, President Yameen denied any knowledge of former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim being “framed” and advised the AP leader to prove Nazim’s innocence at court.
Imran said President Yameen’s statement indicated progress in the opposition efforts, urging protesters to remain steadfast as the government would soon “sign a peace agreement”.
He also claimed that former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom had pleaded with Yameen to release Nazim but was rebuffed.
Imran compared President Yameen to Hitler, who “never did anything against the law” as he had used the German parliament to change laws at will.
Calling on the government to end its “brutality” against former President Mohamed Nasheed, Colonel (Retired) Nazim, and Jumhooree Party (JP) Leader Gasim Ibrahim, Imran warned that the alliance would expose the truth of murders that have occurred in the country.
“First we will free these three leaders, then we start talking about the murders,” he said.
Thousands of supporters took to the streets in the second consecutive night of the alliance’s protests, starting from the artifical beach area and marching down the capital’s main thoroughfare Majeedhee Magu.
Around 11:15pm, clashes occurred between protesters and riot police after Specialist Operations (SO) officers attempted to confiscate loudspeakers from the ‘sound lorry.’
With SO officers blocking their path, protesters split into two groups near the Maafanu cemetery, with one group marching into side streets led by MP Ahmed Mahloof – recently expelled from the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives – and the other gathered near the cemetery.
The protest was officially called off for the night near the MDP’s main office on Sosun Magu around 12:15am.
A police media official told Minivan News today that three individuals were arrested at time, with two accused of disobeying police orders and one accused of attempting to harm a police officer. Among them was a journalist from Channel One.
Invoking powers granted by Article 41 of the Freedom of Assembly Act, police issued a statement earlier in the day ordering protest organisers not to use loudspeakers or megaphones after 11:00pm and to end the protest at 12:00am.
Moreover, police warned protesters against repeatedly gathering in one location or street.
Police claimed to have received numerous complaints from the public and businesses about disruptions caused by the nightly protests.
Police said businesses were adversely affected when roads had to be closed to traffic, causing “irreparable economic damage”.
Photos from Ranreendhoo Maldives