Carnival area the only permitted location to hold protests, reminds Home Ministry

Home Ministry on Sunday reminded that protests organised in Male’ has to be held in the carnival area located at the east end of Male’.

Home Ministry publicised the announcement while recently some protests were held in Male’ calling for actions against sexual assault cases on children and women. The statement said demonstrations that are held without obtaining prior approval from the police can only be held in the carnival area, as stated in the announcement made on October 2016.

As per the article 24 (f) of Freedom of Peaceful Public Assembly Act, assemblies should be held in the carnival area of Male’.

“ ..for everyone’s attention, we express this [reminder about the provision]”, said the Home Ministry.

According to amendments brought to the Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Act by the former president Abdulla Yameen during his administration, 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. The ministry listed the Carnival area in capital Male' as the only approved location to hold a protest.

The amendment was ratified while the then opposition, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) was protesting against the jailing of their leader and current Speaker of the parliament, Maldives' first democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed