Home Minister instructs to review why SO Police were dispatched to stop PNF event

Homeland Security Minister Ali Ihusan (C) speaks at a press conference on January 16, 2024. (Sun Photo/Infinite Moments/Mohamed Maave)

Home Minister Ali Ihusan has instructed to review why Maldives Police Service’s SO Division officers were tasked with stopping the inaugural congress of People’s National Front (PNF) scheduled to be held at Ghiyassudin School last night.

Officers had closed the gates of Ghiyaasuddin International School when members of PNF arrived at the venue, citing the school had not authorized PNF's assembly at its venue; a claim denied by PNF.

Despite the officers closing the school gate, PNF members pushed to enter the venue. They were denied access by the officers which led to a confrontation between the members and the officers.

Minister Ihusan, in a post on X later last night, noted that President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu had instructed the Police against using excessive force while overseeing the security of peaceful assemblies and protests and especially against utilizing SO Division officers for circumstances that do not require it. 

“I have instructed the Commissioner of Police to review the actions of the Police last night at Ghiyasuddin School, the use of force and why SO Police were dispatched,” the Minister wrote.

Following the obstruction by the Police, PNF ultimately held its inaugural congress at Raalhugandu with assistance of mobile phones. During the congress, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s son, Zain Yameen was appointed interim leader of the party. Additionally, the party’s logo, color and an interim senate were also incepted. Yameen, currently under house arrest, visited the area after the congress concluded.