Ex-Mp Mohamed Ismail released again after second arrest

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

Former Parliamentarian for Hoarafushi Mohamed Ismail was released from Police custody yet again, after being arrested a second time under suspicions of being involved in the organization of the ‘India Out’ movement.

After being initially arrested on May 18, the Criminal Court released him the following day, during the hearing to determine his remand period.  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.

Following this, the Criminal Court issued a new arrest warrant for him. 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. 

In addition to Mohamed Ismail, 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 the Indian military presence in Maldives. 

On April 24, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih issued a decree that banned the opposition’s ‘India Out’ movement, deeming it a threat to national security.

Subsequently, all state institutions have been instructed to enforce the decree.

Despite these measures, the opposition has continued its campaign and has been putting up banners and graffiti with slogans linked to the movement.

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