Police re-arrest ex-MP Mohamed Ismail

Ex-MP Mohamed Ismail is arrested by police on May 18, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Police have re-arrested former Hoarafushi MP Mohamed Ismail on suspicion of involvement in organizing the ‘India Out’ movement. 

The PPM politician was arrested under court warrant at approximately 00:00 hours Saturday after he was summoned to the police headquarters in Male’ City. 

His attorney, Adam Asif said Mohamed Ismail hadn’t been given legal warning as required under Criminal Procedure Code. He said that footage from the bodycam of the arresting officer will show as much. 

“From a legal perspective of the arrest, they will have to release Mohamed Ismail again tomorrow,” said Asif. 

Mohamed Ismail had initially been arrested in the case on Wednesday. However, he was released by the Criminal Court on Thursday after his attorney pointed out that Mohamed Ismail hadn’t been served the arrest warrant at the time of his arrest, and wasn’t served the warrant until later. 

In the new arrest warrant, Criminal Court judge Adam Mohamed stated he saw no legal obstacle to issuing a new warrant for his arrest in the case, as no decision had been made regarding his detention or the evidence in the case against him at the remand hearing on Thursday. 

Police had also arrested a second suspect, PPM activist Ali Naseem (Thakaney), in connection to the case on Wednesday. The court extended his remand by five days on Thursday. 

Both Mohamed Ismail and Thakaney are accused of involvement in expanding and recruiting more people for 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.

All state institutions have been instructed to enforce the decree.

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.

PPM has filed a lawsuit over the decree, calling the move an infringement on the right to freedom of expression.