Soldiers block opposition protest in Laamu atoll


Soldiers blocked an opposition vehicle rally Saturday afternoon on the Laamu atoll link road.

Despite police allowing the rally to go ahead from the atoll capital Gan, soldiers in riot gear blocked protesters on the causeway between the islands of Maandhoo and Kadhdhoo, Raajje TVreported.

Five protesters were arrested but were released after about an hour.

Demonstrations have been taking place nationwide since the Supreme Court on February 1 ordered the release of nine prisoners. Citing the need to uncover a plot to remove him from office, President Abdulla Yameen reacted by declaring a state of emergency, suspending constitutional rights and granting sweeping powers to police.

Protest marches also took place Friday in Addu City and Thinadhoo, population hubs of the southern atolls. In the capital Malé, opposition supporters gathered outside the Maldivian Democratic Party meeting hall near the artificial beach.

A handful of Special Ops police tried to move protesters onto pavements and used pepper spray but was unable to disperse the crowd. The protest resumed after evening prayers on the capital’s main thoroughfare.

Three activists arrested from Thursday night’s protest in Malé were released last night but several MDP leadership figures remain in custody.

Full details are available at the link below:

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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