Police warn against protests during uneasy virus situation

February 12. 2021: Opposition protests during strengthened COVID-19 measures in Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Police Service has warned that it will not allow any unlawful public gatherings in the capital and has called on the opposition political parties to refrain from holding any such protests.

The announcement by police comes as the opposition Progressive Coalition plans to hold a “massive” protest in the capital today. The planned gathering comes as public health officials warn of the dire situation in the capital due to COVID-19, and a ban on gatherings of more than ten people in public to curb the spread of the virus. 

Police in an announcement today, said that it will not allow any activity that would cause danger to the public health and called to prioritize the safety of the public and to work together to overcome the current nervy situation in the capital. 

Police also warned legal action against anyone that posed a danger to public health through their conduct. 

Opposition parties are still planning the protest under the banner “Where is my flat?”. The protests were started after the government announced the final list of awardees who received flats under the Hiyaa Housing scheme.

Critics have said that the list is mired with discrepancies and corruption. Opposition supporters in previous protests have also called to free former President Abdulla Yameen who is serving a five-year jail term for money laundering. 

The Maldivian Home Ministry has also issued a statement saying that it will now allow any activity in violation of the instructions of the health authorities. 

The protests come as the capital sees a surge of virus cases that have not gone down since the turn of the year.