Tuesday 5th Jul 2022
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Maldives Police Service

Maldives Police arrests opposition politicians over Yoga Day disruption

Maldives Police Service has arrested two council members of the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives over the Yoga Day event disruption.
Mohammed Ismail, a former MP, and Ibrahim Razzan were arrested earlier today while they were at a cafe' in capital Male'.
The International Yoga Day was marked globally on Tuesday. An event was held at dawn on Tuesday in National Football stadium, in collaboration with Indian Cultural Centre and Youth Ministry.

The event was first to be held in Rasfannu area. However, Male’ City Council had refused to lease the area. The government’s decision to collaborate with the Ministry had come under public criticism. A social media campaign against the event had preceded Tuesday’s events.

High profile religious scholars and political figures had spoken against the event as well.

A group of youth, carrying flags displaying “I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” in Arabic, had interrupted the event. They had called on the event participants to leave the area.

Maldives Police Service (MPS) had arrested six individuals in connection to the event. Four of the six had been remanded for 60 days, while the rest were detained for a five-day period, by Criminal Court.

MPS and a Ministerial Committee selected by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is already investigating Tuesday’s incident.