Young man arrested for vandalizing ex-president Yameen’s home

Former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's residence, H. Dhoovehi, is vandalized with graffiti on May 12, 2022. (Sun Photo/Naail Hussain)

Police have arrested a suspect for vandalizing the private residence of former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, and the headquarters of his party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) with graffiti last week.

The doors and garage gates of Yameen’s residence and the walls of PPM headquarters, located a block away, were vandalized with graffiti calling for his arrest on May 12. Flyers branding the opposition leader a thief were thrown on the streets in the neighborhood.

Police said they arrested a 20-year-old male in connection to the case on Monday morning.

The suspect was remanded in custody of the police for five days when presented before the court for his remand hearing, said a police spokesperson.

The incident comes as Yameen’s supporters use similar tactics in the ‘India Out’ movement, a political campaign led by the opposition to protest against Indian military presence in Maldives.  

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih issued a decree banning the ‘India Out’ movement on April 21, deeming it a threat to national security.

However, the opposition continued to put up banners and graffiti the walls of buildings with slogans linked to the movement.

President Solih said in his decree that the ‘India Out’ movement was a deliberate attempt to hinder the longstanding relations between Maldives and India, and international efforts to maintain security in the region, and that incitement to hatred against a specific country put Maldives at risk of loss of peace and stability, huge economic and social burden, and isolation in the international arena.