K. Male' | Shan Anees | 19-April-2017 | Wednesday 12:20 | twitter | Local | 416
Officers of the Maldives Police Service (MPS) have disbanded an opposition rally on Tuesday night without providing those gathered with any premise for doing so.
Supporters of the oppositions ongoing reform efforts, which involved motions to remove the parliament speaker and instil more transparent financial policies within government, were gathered in front of the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) main office.
Not too long after the gathering began – reportedly about two speakers in - three officers of the special operations unit had arrived and briefly arrested MDP’s chairperson Hassan Latheef. They had released Latheef shortly since and claimed it was not a formal arrest.
Officers then proceeded to use pepper-spray to coerce gatherers into disbanding, indiscriminate between activists, journalists, and onlookers. They force supporters out of the area and barricaded the office off.
Chairposern Latheef said that the police crackdown was unlawful and that opposition activity is crucial ‘during times of instability’.
Sonsun Magu, the road the office is on, is one of the larger ones in Malé, and the party has maintained that it was formed so as to not disrupt traffic or inconvenience pedestrians.
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