Maldives protesters demand president’s arrest

Maldives protesters demand president’s arrest
Policemen use pepper spray to disperse pro-opposition supporters during a protest in Male, Maldives. (AP)
Updated 18 February 2018

Maldives protesters demand president’s arrest

Maldives protesters demand president’s arrest

MALE: Maldives police arrested 25 people under a state of emergency, opposition legislators said, after thousands of protesters gathered a day earlier to call for the detention of the president and release of opposition leaders.
The tiny Indian Ocean archipelago, best known for its luxury hotels and dive resorts, imposed a 15-day state of emergency on Feb. 5 to annul a Supreme Court ruling ordering the release of nine leading opposition figures.
Shortly after imposing the state of emergency, President Abdulla Yameen’s administration arrested two Supreme Court judges and detained former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on allegations that he solicited bribes to topple the government.
Thousands gathered in locations across the 15 islands in protest on Friday to demand the arrest of the president and the enforcement of the court ruling to free the opposition leaders.
Ahmed Mahloof, a legislator from the main opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), told Reuters 25 people, including two journalists, had been detained, based on numbers gathered via the party’s telephone hotline.
“Police have so far refused to tell us how many were arrested. We don’t have any access to them,” he said. “We don’t know where they are being held. Police has said they are arrested under state of emergency and that they don’t have to give the information.”
Raajee TV, an independent media outlet, said police had attacked journalists covering the Friday’s protests and said one had been treated for injuries.