Maldives Police Service announced early Saturday that a total of 141 people were arrested from the major opposition rally that took place Friday night in capital Male.
According to the police spokesperson, they had arrested 115 men and 26 women during the protests. However, two of the men have since been released.
Among the detained was one of the opposition leaders, Hinnavaru MP Mohamed Ibrahim Solih of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). He was arrested at the Republic Square and taken to the custodial centre in Dhoonidhoo island, according to a tweet by MDP’s official Twitter account.
Friday night’s protest marked the largest mass arrest of civilians since the “May Day” opposition rally on May 1, 2015.
The protest was the latest in a series of rallies organised by the opposition coalition to protest against the government’s “unlawful activities” and refusal to execute the Supreme Court’s unprecedented verdict of February 1, which ordered the release of political prisoners and reinstatement of ousted legislators. The order has since been revoked.
The rally began around 9:00 p.m. at the intersection of Male’s main road Majeedhee Magu and Chaandhanee Magu. Police in riot gear had intervened and broken up the crowds, with occasional pepper spray dousing.
The protesters had then attempted to gather at the Republic Square, despite the presence of both Police and the military. The security forces had eventually used tear gas to break up the gatherings in and around the Square, which was the second time tear gas had been used on protesters after the May Day rally in 2015. Security forces had also used tear gas to break up the crowds that gathered at Artificial Beach on February 1 after the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict.
A number of civilians were injured during Friday night’s protest, while the police also reported that an officer sustained fractures to an arm.
Meanwhile, a legal advocate for civilians arrested during protests claimed that the police were yet to inform them of the total number of people arrested Friday night.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News