Four anti-govt MPs arrested from Republic Square

The police have notified the Parliament of the arrest of four MPs from the opposition Progressive Congress Coalition, who were detained on Thursday after staging a sit-in at the Republic Square in Male’ City.

The four MPs arrested from the Republic Square are; Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef Umar, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam, Maavah MP Mohamed Saeed, and Mahibadhoo MP Ahmed Toriq.

Parliament’s spokesperson Hassan Ziyau confirmed the police notified the Parliament of their arrest on Thursday night.

Ziyau said the police would inform the Parliament if they plan to take any additional measures.

The police also reportedly detained Male’ City councilors Ibrahim Shujau and Ahmed Ifan, along with other members of the coalition.

According to police, they were arrested for staging a protest in a restricted zone, for obstructing the police from performing their duty, and for failure to comply with orders from the police.

The case is under further investigation by the police.

The main opposition party, the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has condemned the arrests.

In a tweet on Thursday, the party called for the release of the arrestees.

The party claimed they were arrested while engaged in “a panel discussion regarding securing a fair trial for the party’s presidential candidate, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.”

Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison for money laundering and bribery in December last year. The appeal of his conviction has remained stalled at the High Court – creating uncertainty over his eligibility for the upcoming presidential election.

In Thursday’s statement, PPM condemned what it described as “an act of cruelty of the government.”

The party called on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to stop alleged “acts of cruelty” against the Maldivian people, and attempts to influence the court cases against Yameen.