Police obstructs “India Out” rally by youths – key activists claim major infringement of freedom of expression.

Maldives Police Service has obstructed an opposition youth led motorcycle rally against the Indian military forces in the Maldives under the banner of “India Out”.

The motorcycle rally which was organized by the youth wing of the opposition alliance was scheduled for 1545 today. However, Maldives Police Service published a press release accusing the opposition youth wing of planning a riot amidst the planed “India Out” rally.

In their statement Maldives Police Service stated that the press release was on the subject of the motor rally organized by “PPM” and that the Maldives Police Service has received information that a riot was planned in the rally. They further stated that they believe that such riots are a “danger to a lot of people”. They affirmed in their press release that they would not allow for the motorcycle rally to proceed.

Media personality turned youth activist Abdulla Shaayan Shahid who played a key role in organizing the rally described the decision by the Maldives Police Service as an infringement on the right to freedom of expression. He stated that “This is unacceptable. We want to know what exact riot the police is saying that we have planned here. This is a peaceful rally, we want our voices to be heard, the world should know that we want Indian military in the Maldives to leave our country”.

One of the leading youth activists, Hussain Naais stated that the rally was obstructed at the advice of the new Indian High Commissioner in Maldives. “Most of us are students, this is a youth rally to voice against Indian military people in Maldives. I know why Police decided to obstruct us. New Indian high Commissioner is feeling the pressure now, the police is obstructing us following his advice. They are scared that their plans are being found out. Our voice is slowly being heard by the world. India cannot station their military here. And the police cannot continue to attack our right to freedom of expression.

Meanwhile opposition leader President Abdulla Yameen has embarked on a nationwide rally to strengthen the “India Out” campaign. As a part of the campaign a delegation led by President Abdulla Yameen has visited K.Huraa, K.Thulusdhoo and K. Guraidhoo.