27 June 2014, Male’
Concern over covert Police action against participants of political gatherings
The Maldivian Democratic Party held a rally in Male’ on 26 June 2014, to coincide with the Party’s 9th anniversary. It was also the international day in support of victims of torture.
The MDP held the rally as the first of a planned series of gatherings dubbed ”Barricade Meetings”, to protest the current regime’s mismanagement of state resources, rising costs of essential goods, deterioration of health services resulting in preventable loss of lives, and sustained influences on the judiciary to incriminate political rivals.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had on 26 June 2014 issued a warning not to hold the rally, threatening Police action against participants.
It is matter of serious alarm that several Policemen in mufti infiltrated the rally and attempted to incite grassroots members of the MDP. Leaders of the party urged participants to avoid confrontations and were exercising maximum restraint while reminding attendees that we were exercising our Constitutional rights of assembly, of disseminating and acquiring awareness, and of freedom of expression.
Intimidation and harassment of participants of rallies and political gatherings have been the practice of the Gayoom regime in the past. It is a matter of serious concern for the MDP that Police are being directed to infiltrate and incite participants of political rallies by the administration of President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom. Their orders include identification of the party’s youth leaders and top activists and the MDP believes that several young participants of the rally will be arrested on some trumped up unrelated charges in the next few days.
The MDP notes that it has been routine during the Gayoom regime to make ostensible threats against youth of being framed in targeted incrimination to discourage them from engaging in political activities.
The MDP appeals to well-wishers to prevail over the current administration to cease and desist from attempts to intimidate and incriminate participants of political gatherings.