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Supporters protest for ex-pres Yameen's immediate release

Mariyam Malsa
21 February 2019, MVT 12:04
Protestors demanding the release of former president Yameen. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
21 February 2019, MVT 12:04

Supporters of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdulla Gayoom protested in the capital city of Male', and demanded his immediate release on Wednesday night.

Some leading members of opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) also participated in the rally.

The protesters demanded Yameen's release on the basis that he was being mistreated in detention.

While the Criminal Court ordered that Yameen be placed under arrest until the investigation into the money laundering charges against him concluded, the protesters claimed that the ruling was illegitimate.

The protestors claimed that Yameen's arrest was a calculated move to limit the former president's chances of winning a seat in the upcoming parliamentary election.

Some demonstrators also stated that Yameen was brought to Male' against his will, after he was hospitalised earlier the same evening at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

A protester who had been exposed to pepper spray. PHOTO: FAZEENA AHMED/ MIHAARU

Police stated that they used pepper spray to control the protestors after they gathered outside IGMH and began creating a commotion.

According to some bystanders, the protestors were pepper sprayed when they began arguing with the police officers stationed at the hospital.

Pictures of PPM’s Parliamentary Group leader and MP of Villimale’ constituency, Ahmed Nihan and Vice President of PNC, Abdul Raheem Abdulla after they had been exposed to pepper spray spread on social media. Abdul Raheem was also observed with a wound, however, the cause of the injury is unknown.

The protestors have condemned the tactics of the police.

According to an official of IGMH, Yameen was hospitalised for 24 hours after being brought to the hospital on Wednesday in accordance with medical advice. The hospital did not provide further details as the former president is under the custody of Maldives Correctional Services (MCS).