PPM: Unlawful arrest of protestors will be raised with NIC

PPM's lawyers speak to press on January 6, 2023. (Photo/PPM)

Unlawful arrest of protestors during the serial protests launched by the opposition coalition will be submitted to the National Integrity Commission (NIC), warn Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s lawyers.

The opposition coalition, composed of PPM and People’s National Congress (PNC) has been holding serial protests in Male’ City in the wake of opposition leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s imprisonment.

In a press conference Friday night, PPM’s lawyers said the protestors were exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression.

They said that the arrest of protestors was arbitrary, with the people “snatched up” by police

The lawyers said it is in violation of Criminal Procedure Code.

“If the police continue to act in this manner, we will submit a case with the National Integrity Commission,” said Mohamed Raib Ahmed, one of PPM’s lawyers.

Raib said protestors aren’t read their rights when taken into custody, and the police also fail to follow other legal procedures.

Ahmed Shafiu, another PPM lawyer, said protestors subject to unlawful arrest were facing psychological and physical damages.

“They don’t even now why they are being put inside the police jeep. What their crime is. This cannot be done in this manner,” he said.

“I want to say this to the police; our party has always been very cooperative with the police.”

Shafiu said the police were acting in violation of international conventions Maldives is party to.

He said it was part of a deliberate plan by the government to silence the voice of the opposition.

Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined USD 5 million on December 25, after he was found guilty of money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development back during his administration.