July 12, 2016
The Maldives United Opposition (MUO) condemns the government’s unlawful obstruction of the planned rally to celebrate the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDPs) 11th anniversary in Male’ on 11 July 2016. The MUO deplores unlawful actions of the Police to intimidate and harass participants and supporters of the MDP, the largest political party in the Maldives.
The MUO condemns the Police for obstructing the parade just as it began, barricading the paths forward, while pedestrians and participants were stopped and questioned in clear attempts to intimidate people from attending the event.
The MUO also condemns Police apprehending the MDP’s Vice President Mohamed Shifaz just as he was leaving home to attend the rally and for holding him until after the event, without warrant or issuance of a summons.
In Article 32 of the Constitution it is stated that every individual has the freedom for assembly, without prior approval of the state. It is also of concern that the government in recent times had not allowed any political party in opposition any space for any parade or rally on any street or venue in Male’, and that these rights have completely been reneged in contravention of the Constitution.
The Maldives United Opposition commends steadfast members and supporters of the Maldivian Democratic Party for resisting forcible disruption and dispersal, and the tactics of intimidation of the Police, and for being resilient in carrying on with celebrations while the parade of thousands of people were made unable to move in either direction. The MUO urges all well-wishers, members and supporters of all parties and participants of the MUO to participate in the MUO rally “To the path of Transition” scheduled for 14 July in the same courageous spirit to embrace rights enshrined in the Constitution.