Police summon opposition politicians Mohamed Ismail, Nimal for questioning

Combined file photos of (from L-R) Former Hoarafushi MP Mohamed Ismail and former Fenaka Corporation managing director Mohamed Nimal. (File photos/Sun)

Two opposition politicians, former Hoarafushi MP Mohamed Ismail and former Fenaka Corporation managing director Mohamed Nimal have been sent summons by the police for questioning in response to calls to overthrow the current administration during a recent rally in Male’ City.

The rally, organized by the opposition coalition, composed of PPM and PNC, was held on Sunday night. The rally began at the Chaandhanee Magu-Majeedhee Magu junction and ended at the PPM headquarters.

The summons sent by the police reads that both Mohamed Ismail and Nimal had taken part in a gathering in the streets of Male’ held in violation of the Freedom of Assembly Act, and made “calls to overthrow a legitimate government, encouraged the public to engage in the aforementioned illegal activity, and appealed for it”.

They have also been accused of obstructing the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the roads, and of intentionally obstructing the execution of the law and the rule of the state.

Mohamed Ismail has been ordered to present himself to the police headquarters for questioning at 03:00 pm, and Nimal at 4:00 pm on Tuesday.

The constitutional right to freedom of assembly was restricted with an amendment to Freedom of Assembly Act, empowering the Home Affairs Ministry to restrict public assemblies.

The Home Affairs Ministry has declared that all assemblies held in public locations other than the Alimas Carnival area will require a prior permit.

The amendment was made during former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration, and had been criticized by MDP, which had been the opposition party at the time. MDP had pledged to repeal the amendment when it came to power, but the legislature designed to repeal the amendment has remained parked at a parliamentary committee for over a year.