Opposition holds rally to mark Victory Day

The opposition held a rally Saturday night to mark the 'Victory Day'.

While the rally was originally planned to be held in the Carnival Area of capital Male', the Housing Ministry did not grant permission to use the space. The venue of the rally was later changed to the area in front of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)'s office, although the Freedom of Peaceful Gathering Act stipulates that street protests, marches, parades, and other such gatherings can only be held with written permission from the police, or in areas designated by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Earlier on Saturday, the police had warned that they would not entertain rallies and gatherings that violate the Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Act.

While a considerable amount of people gathered at the area for the rally, the police closed off the area and moved the crowd back. It has been reported that 12 people were arrested during the rally, including several members of the Congress Party's council as well as PPM and DRP members.

While all 12 arrested individuals have now been released, they were arrested on charges of obstruction to law enforcement, said the police.

The Victory Day marks the defeat of an attempted coup against then-president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 1988. Armed with Sri Lankan mercenaries, a group of rogue Maldivians led the attacks which killed 19 Maldivians.