Joint Opposition Statement: President Yameen Summons More MPs, Ahead of Opening of Parliament

5 October, Thursday: The Maldives Police Service have issued summons for three more MPs, accusing them of assaulting military personnel inside the parliamentary chambers as President Yameen continues his illegal crackdown against the legislature.

Opposition MPs Ali Azim (MDP), MP Mohamed Nazim (MDP), and MP Hussain Areef (Independent) were summoned to the police today. The MPs are accused of assaulting soldiers on 31 July, when soldiers entered the parliamentary chambers during session and manhandled opposition MPs.

The parliament has been under military siege since July 24th, and the Speaker — who has lost the support of a majority of MPs — continues to conduct sessions surrounded by a military guard.

The MPs’ summons comes as parliamentary sittings are set to resume next week, when the Government will present its 2018 state budget to parliament for approval.

As President Yameen no longer enjoys a majority in parliament, he is concocting bogus police charges against opposition lawmakers in an attempt to intimidate them and, failing that, strip them of their seats.

The new charges against the three MPs follow a pattern of increased harassment by President Yameen and his cronies against opposition lawmakers. These include:

Jumhooree Party Leader, MP Qasim Ibrahim, was sentenced to 3 years in jail on August 25;
MP Faris Maumoon has been in jail for nearly 80 days without trial;
3 MPs are on trial for “criminal trespassing,” and have been unconstitutionally stripped of their seats;
4 more MPs have been stripped of their seats, although no charges have not been raised against them;
Nine more opposition lawmakers are being charged with “obstruction of Police duty,” for entering the Parliament on 24 July;
two MPs are on trial on terror charges;
and one MP’s passport has been seized.

The coalition of opposition political parties calls on the international community to consider imposing punitive measures targeting President Yameen and his associates in the military, police and judiciary, who continually flout the Constitution and deliberately undermine Maldivian democracy.