Police used excessive force to break up protest: opposition

The opposing Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has said the police used excessive force in breaking up its protest held Sunday night.

A statement issued by the party said the police used excessive force on protestants as well as a many civilians and independent media present on the scene. It further said many people sustained injuries as a result. Two protestants were hit on the legs with police shields, which caused injuries to their legs, and a media personnel who was covering the protest suffered a head injury, it said. Pepper spray was used on peaceful protestants and many of them were arrested, it further said.

The statement further said the police targeting media personnel was also witnessed, and pepper spray was used on them without restraint. The opposing coalition condemns the use of excessive force on them in the strictest terms, it said.

The coalition called on the Human Rights Commission and the National Integrity Commission and other relevant authorities to look into the events of Sunday night, and the current administration's actions that hinder the Right to Freedom of Expression and freedom of assembly. It further called on the Media Council and the Broadcasting Commission to investigate the administration's attempts to obstruct independent media.