29 February 2012
MDP Calls for 1st March Protests to be Peaceful and for Police to Show Maximum Restraint
The Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) today called on all stakeholders in the Maldives to act responsibly and to conduct themselves peacefully during protests planned to coincide with the opening of the first session of the People’s Majlis on 1st March 2012.
MDP recalls that freedom of assembly is a Constitutional right in the Maldives and must be fully respected by the authorities. The right also entails responsibilities for all parts of society – both the protester who must conduct him/herself peacefully and within the law, and the police and security services who must show maximum restraint towards peaceful protesters, ensure the safety and well-being of all, and avoid violence. MDP made clear that it is vital for the restoration of calm, for the future of democracy in the country and for the international reputation of the Maldives, for the police to avoid any repetition of the events of 8th February in the capital.
MDP noted that this is a moral as well as a legal obligation.
Speaking on this issue, the first democratically elected President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed confirmed that “all MDP supporters will act peacefully and are merely intent on expressing their right to protest and to deliver a message to Dr. Mohamed Waheed: that democracy must be restored to the Maldives and that is only possible through early, free and fair elections. We call on the authorities, including the police, to similarly act within the confines of the law and to treat protesters with respect and dignity – as fellow citizens”.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affair