Sheikhs Fazloon and Nishan granted ten days to appoint lawyers

Sheikhs Adam Nishan and Fazloon Mohamed have been granted ten days to appoint a lawyer in connection to the Yoga Day clashes.

On June 21, the Youth Ministry and the Indian Embassy in the Maldives jointly organized an event to celebrate Yoga Day at the National Stadium. The event was held despite religious scholars advising against it, as yoga is considered impermissible by the majority of scholars. While the event was ongoing, a group stormed the stadium and caused unrest at the venue. Twenty-one people, including Sheikh Nishan and Fazloon, were arrested in the days that followed and later released.

The prosecution has filed various charges against 19 people in connection with the Yoga Day incident, including the scholars. Both Nishan and Fazloon were charged with inciting terrorism, an offense which holds a punishment of 10 to 15 years in jail.

The two scholars appeared at a hearing held Monday without a lawyer. Criminal Court Judge Hussain Faiz Rashad granted both a ten-day period to appoint a lawyer.