Opposition parties People's National Congress (PNC) and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) announced that 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to be released from prison.
Yameen is currently serving a five-year sentence in Maafushi Prison's Special Protection Unit (SPU) for proven charges of money-laundering. Criminal Court also imposed a fine of USD 5 million, allocating a six-month period for Yameen to pay the fine.
PNC's Vice President Mohamed Hussain Shareef (Mundhu) explained that supporters from all over Maldives were signing the petition calling to release Yameen. Noting that the petition has received over 10,000 signatures within three days, he stated that this was a large number for such a short period of time.
According to the Shareef, the petition will be submitted to local authorities when every individual who rejects Yameen's sentence has received the chance to sign the petition, which he estimates will be around next month. He further disclosed that the petition would be submitted to relevant international bodies as well.
He added that all the documents regarding Yameen's sentence have already been submitted to various international organisations fighting for human rights.
Top officials of the opposition coalition also met with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih last Sunday to discuss the ex-president's current situation.