The Maldivian Democratic Party appeals to all well-wishers and the International Community for urgent positive actions to heed daily gatherings and activities calling for the release of President Mohamed Nasheed.
Supporters of the Jumhooree Party and the Maldivian Democratic Party have continued daily gatherings and calls to immediately release President Mohamed Nasheed since his unlawful detention by the regime of President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom on 22 February 2015. Comparatively high numbers of participants continue to hold peaceful activities to protest the sustained influences on the judiciary to incriminate political rivals by the regime of President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom.
The MDP expresses serious alarm that known regime supporters with iron rods and truncheons infiltrated recent gatherings and attempted to violently disrupt and incite participants.
Despite this confrontational attempt at intimidation, leaders of Jumhooree Party and the Maldivian Democratic Party urged participants to avoid confrontations and continue to exercise maximum restraint.
Speakers at these rallies reiterate that the call for the release of President Mohamed Nasheed were being continued every day, sometimes several times a day, through the exercise of the Constitutional rights of assembly, of disseminating and acquiring awareness, and of freedom of expression.
Supporters held peaceful gatherings at the four hearings held at Criminal Court in the case against President Mohamed Nasheed, the three sessions of Peoples Majlis held to date this year.
On 05 March 2015 a Jumhooree Party and Maldivian Democratic Party delegation met with Home Minister Umar Naseer and called for the transfer of President Mohamed Nasheed to house arrest and reiterated calls for the government to initiate all-party talks and national reconciliation.
It is a matter of serious concern for the MDP that a number of miscreants in the guise of “youth” through politically biased Police personnel in mufti are being directed by the current PPM regime of President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom, to infiltrate and incite participants of these rallies calling for the release of President Mohamed Nasheed.
Their directions include identification of youth leaders and top activists and 36 participants of these rallies have been arrested on trumped up and/or unrelated charges. (26 participants remain in custody to date).
In a more alarming development, on 05 March 2015, Police handcuffed and transported in their boat to prison 15 members and supporters (including former education Minister Ms. Sifa Mohamed and senior members of the MDP women’s wing who were holding an instant protest at the Male’ International Airport.
Transporting by boat of handcuffed detainees is a violation of international maritime laws and endangers the detainees’ lives for the period of their transfer. In messages from prison, the members and supporters of the MDP women’s wing have vowed to continue instant protests calling for the release of President Mohamed Nasheed, at the airport as well as targeting resorts whose lease owners were in collusion with the regime, reneging human rights, violating the Constitution and ignoring the country’s commitments to international treaties and covenants.
Intimidation and harassment of participants of rallies and political gatherings have been the practice of the (30-year) regime in the past of PPM leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The MDP notes that it has been routine during the dictatorial regime of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to make ostensible threats, against participants of rallies and gatherings, of being framed in targeted incrimination, just so 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 this confrontational attitude towards considerably large sections of society that represent over 75% of the popular vote, in deliberate attempts to create violence and to intimidate and incriminate participants of political gatherings.
The MDP urges well-wishers and concerned authorities to prevail over the Maldives Prosecutor General, the Police and the regime of President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom to expedite the release of all participants of peaceful gatherings, including members and supporters of the MDP women’s wing, who were calling for the release of President Mohamed Nasheed.
The MDP appeals to all concerned institutions for urgent and meaningful actions for the current PPM regime to immediately release President Mohamed Nasheed.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
MDP International Spokesperson