Police to investigate opposition's rally; participants flouted guidelines

Maldives Police Service has launched an investigation into the rally held by the opposing PPM-PNC coalition on Friday.

A large number of PPM-PNC supporters gathered in the capital on Friday evening to take part in a motorcycle rally. Several participants went against the advise of the Health Protection Agency and social distancing measures were not practiced during the event, despite the country experiencing an influx in positive cases of COVID-19 over the past few weeks.

The police said the participants of the rally disregarded the instructions given by HPA, including regulations in place that make the use of masks in public spaces mandatory. The matter will be investigated, and appropriate action will be taken, said the police.

PNC’s president, Abdul Raheem Abdulla has hit back at the police, stating that no amount of threats could dampen the spirit of the group. Meanwhile, Home Minister Imran Abdulla indirectly condemned the opposition’s actions, stating that there is a distinct difference between protecting the well-being of the country’s citizens and practicing one’s right for freedom of expression. The regulations set by HPA in the face of a national health emergency must be followed by all, said the minister.