Maldives police crack down on ex-president’s supporters (PHOTOS)
Maldives security forces have dispersed a march of over 3,000 protesters supporting former leader Mohamed Nasheed. At least one protester was badly injured during the clash, while more than a dozen were arrested.
The violence erupted after protesters tried to break through a police cordon around the presidential palace on Friday night. Security forces moved in to break up the protest with batons and pepper spray.
At least one protester was badly injured during the incident, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) officials said. Police have cordoned off the area as the unrest continued into the night.
Authorities confirm that 11 people were arrested, but MDP claims the figure is much higher. On Thursday, Maldives police arrested around 50 of Nasheed’s supporters.
The MDP’s supporters were protesting for a second consecutive day after the Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry published a report stating that Nasheed’s ousting in February this year did not constitute a coup.
“Now we have a situation, very awkward situation and in many ways very comical situation, where toppling a government by a brutal force is taken in as a reasonable cause of action,” Nasheed said, as cited by Reuters.
Nasheed became the Maldives’ president during the country’s first democratic elections in 2008. On February 7, 2012, he was forced to resign after weeks of demonstrations and a mutiny by security officials.
Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed (C, white shirt) takes part in a protest in Male.(REUTERS / Adnan Abidi)
People cross as riot police officers stand guard on a street during a protest by the supporters of former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed in Male.(REUTERS / Adnan Abidi)
Supporters of former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed clash with soldiers during a protest in Male.(REUTERS / Adnan Abidi)