30 individuals arrested from the protest staged by the opposition coalition comprising of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People’s National Congress (PNC), have been slapped with fines and released from police custody.
The opposition staged the rally on Friday evening in clear violation of the safety guidelines and measures set forth by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in light of the wide spreading Covid-19 pandemic and officers active in the region initially arrested 33 individuals.
Out of this, 30 were released on Friday night after being penalized for violating HPA guidelines amid a pandemic.
Three individuals who took part in the protest currently remain in police custody.
After reports that the opposition would continue staging protests both the police institution and the Ministry of Home Affairs released statements discouraging such gatherings during a pandemic.
The protest saw less than 50 individuals or so pouring onto the streets of Malé City and some of them were observed to harass law enforcement officers and media personnel while calling to free their jailed leader, former president Abdulla Yameen who was jailed for five years after having been found guilty of laundering money through state coffers.
The opposition protestors are voiced concerns regarding “unfairly” issued flats through the government’s public housing scheme ‘Hiyaa’.
Due an alarming increase in Covid-19 cases being reported over the past few weeks, authorities had declared that strict action would be taken against violators of Covid-19 precautions in place. In a directive signed by the Director General of Public Health and publicized on February 13, HPA disallowed gatherings of more than 10 individuals at public spaces in the Greater Malé Region.