The ruling MDP’s Parliamentary Group have discussed the possible legal means by which the “India Out” movement could be stopped.
A member of the MDP’s Parliamentary Group told The Maldives Journal that Majlis Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, who is also the leader of the party, wished for the use of the “India Out” slogan to be deemed a punishable criminal offence. The Speaker had also proposed that the Penal Code be amended to make this possible.
“Nasheed cited the examples of Europe’s laws against Holocaust denial, and also India’s laws against hate-speech”, said the member of the Parliamentary Group. “He had said that such amendments should be made to the Penal Code to put a stop to the expression of anti-Indian sentiment”.
Maldivian laws currently permit all forms of expression that do not violate any tenets of Islam.
Speaking at a recent meeting held by the MDP, Speaker Nasheed had said that the “India Out” movement had to be stopped. He had also stated that the police should stop the opposition leader, former President Abdullah Yameen, from wearing his red “India Out” t-shirt.
Ali Zahir, the Chief of Staff of the President’s Office, had made an appearance on national TV and had warned that the government would put a stop to the “India Out” movement.
Despite the government’s many threats against the “India Out” movement, the opposition leader has already decided to travel to Nilandhoo (Faafu Atoll) to gain support for the movement. There has also been an increase in support for the movement on social media, as well.