Tuesday 24th May 2022
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In defense of independence

'In defense of Independence' poster is hate speech: MPS

Maldives Police Service (MPS) has summoned another individual, for displaying a banner depicted with the slogan “In defense of Independence”, arguing that it was hate speech.
The individual was summoned to MPS on Monday.
Speaking to TMJ, the individual said that he was summoned to MPS under no valid reason.
TMJ had also obtained the summons, which said that the individual had hung a banner on his residence, that depicts words or sentiments that harms relations between Maldives and another nation. It further added that the banner in question harmed the interests of individuals of the nation and denigrated the nation.
The individual said that he had done no such thing. The banner, he said, was clear on the messaging, that he was for defending the nation’s independence. As such, he said the slogan “In defense of independence” was a national slogan and cannot be deemed in another manner.
The individual was summoned to give a statement. However, he had refused to give a statement.
The slogan “In defense of independence” is a slogan used by the opposition Progressive Congress Coalition. This is running concurrent to the “India Out” campaign.
The present administration has resorted to several avenues to stop the “India Out” movement. In April, the administration issued a Presidential decree criminalizing the movement, citing that it was hate speech and hampered the relations between the two nations.
Following this, officers of MPS had entered several residences and removed such banners.
Defying the decree, the opposition had continued to press ahead. They have resorted to displaying deliberately misspelled banners and mass dumps of India Out leaflets.