Male’ City Council: Nareesh arrested to silence councilors

Male’ City Deputy Mayor Ahmed Nareesh being arrested at opposition coalition's 'Neyva Holhiah' mass rally on March 25, 2022. (Photo/Heena Waleed)

Male’ City Council has stated that the city’s Deputy Mayor Ahmed Nareesh was arrested from Friday’s ‘Neyva Holhiah’ mass rally by the opposition coalition in order to silence councilors.

Out of 17 people arrested from the rally, eight have been released whereas nine have been remanded in police custody. In this regard, Deputy Mayor Nareesh was remanded in custody for two days.

In a statement released today by Male’ City Council expressing concern over Nareesh’s arrest, they described his arrest as an unprogressive act to construe the rights of freedom of expression guaranteed by the law, to silence councilors.

“This is a very unprogressive and pathetic act to depower and silence an individual elected as Male’ City’s Deputy Mayor, as a representative of the people,” the statement read.

Male’ City Council, in their statement, also called on the immediate release of Nareesh.

‘Neyva Holhiah’ mass rally at Male’ City as part of the ‘India Out’ campaign was held on Friday despite warnings by the police against holding it.  

When the rally had commenced – Police had impeded it, obstructing the participants. A number of civilians and politicians taking part in the rally have been arrested as well.

Nareesh was arrested from the road prior to the commencement of the rally.

Guraidhoo MP Ghassan Maumoon, Maavah MP Mohamed Saeed were also amongst those who had been arrested. Both of them were granted conditional release last night. 

Meanwhile, former Hoarafushi MP Mohamed Ismail who was also arrested was remanded in custody for seven days.