Maldives police in violent crackdown against opposition
28 November 2015, Nirapad News: A number of opposition figures in the Maldives have been hospitalized after police used pepper spray to suppress a demonstration calling for the release of jailed former president Mohamed Nasheed.
Police stepped in after thousands of opposition protestors assembled at the Artificial Beach in the capital Male on Friday for the start of a three-day protest by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Several former ministers, the deputy chair of the MDP and the party’s vice president were among the wounded, sources told Al Jazeera.
The demonstrators were calling for the release of Nasheed and 1,700 political detainees by the administration of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, which took control of the Indian Ocean nation in 2012 after a disputed election.
After formally rejecting the protestors’ demands, Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer issued demonstrators with an ultimatum on Twitter to disperse by midnight or police would be called to clear the area.
However, opposition MP Eva Abdulla said police moved in at around 11pm and that several protesters, including the opposition party officials, had been wounded and hospitalized.
‘We have already been attacked. The entire leadership has been pepper sprayed,’ Abdullah said in a series of text messages to a correspondent reporting for Al Jazeera from the Maldives at 11.35pm.