Police deny use of disproportionate force

Maldives Police Service have revealed that minimum amount of pepper spray was utilized in breaking up the crowds gathered at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, detained former president Yameen Abdul Gayyoom was brought to state-run Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital upon which several of this supporters gathered at the hospital. The crowds had to be broken up by the police with the use of pepper spray, for which the police are being criticized for by opposing Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

In a statement released by the police, they revealed that supporters of President Yameen had attempted to enter the Cardiology Center at the hospital after entering through the western gate of IGMH. The police had repeatedly informed the crowd that only a minimum number of people can be allowed inside at a time. However, the crowds disobeyed the police request and attempted to forcefully enter the area. Pepper spray then had to be used to disperse the crowd.

The police condemned the opposition's act, stating that carrying out such acts of protest in public places that provide healthcare services would cause difficulties to the service providers as well as the people seeking services at the center. According to the Right to Protest in the constitution, it is prohibited to gather at and make noise at hospitals, noted the police.

The police further informed that "Use of Force Review committee" will be further investigating and reviewing the force exerted by the police during Wednesday's incident.