Maldives Police Service, on Wednesday, arrested opposition party People's National Congress (PNC)'s President Abdul Raheem Abdulla and Vice President Ibrahim Shujau for the second time this week.
Police arrested the duo from the opposition demonstration in front of Dharubaaruge, after the Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem refused a sit down with the coalition regarding their concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines gifted by the Indian government earlier this month.
Abdul Raheem and Shujau were taken into police custody earlier this week, on Monday, in an opposition-led demonstration calling to expedite the local council elections, along with several other protesters. They were all released later the same day.
The government has been heavily cracking down on opposition protests and gatherings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, often citing their violations of the Health Protections Agency (HPA) guidelines.
However, the opposition has claimed that the state is using the COVID-19 pandemic to oppress the parties, and hinder their activities, including their campaign for the upcoming local council elections.
Following Monday's arrests at the demonstration held in front of the Elections Commission (EC), the coalition released a statement threatening to raise the issue of authorities obstructing the rights granted by the constitution, as well as abusing their power, since EC is not located in a greenzone and the protest was peaceful.
“This proves the state’s incompetence and its unfamiliarity to democracy”, the coalition asserted.