Maldives govt slaps travel ban on famous religious scholar

Maldives government have imposed a travel ban on locally renowned religious scholar Sheikh Ilyas Hussain.

Sheikh Ilyas Hussain was notified of the no-fly order by government when he arrived at Gan International Airport on Saturday morning to fly for Sri Lanka.

The popular cleric had re-registered to cast vote at Sri Lanka ahead of the polls which is scheduled for Sunday. However, he was denied of departing after Maldives Immigration had intervened is check-in.

Sheikh Ilyas is noted for his continued strong criticism against incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

On top of this he is also frequently summoned to Maldives Police for questioning regarding the murder of late Dr. Afrasheem Ali; who was stabbed to death in 2012. Maldives Police claims Sheikh Ilyas is summoned to the authority over the cleric's comments about the incident where he had implied the incumbent president was closely connected to Dr. Afrasheem Ali's death.

In light of the sudden travel ban imposed on the cleric, he announced he will not be intimidated by such attempts by the government. He also assured to continue in his efforts to speak the truth.