President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has threatened to halt the ongoing opposition protests in the Maldives, stating that while he has given the freedom to protest, it should not harm others. Speaking at a campaign event on the island of Aa.Mathiveri, the President said, "While you exercise these freedoms, it should be noted that such freedoms shall not rupture the eardrum of the person next to you. If things go to that level we will have to think about it."
Despite the President's claims that he has given the freedom to protest, the Maldives Police Service has arrested over 100 people from protests in the past few days alone. The government has also refused to amend a law that prohibits protests in the capital city of Male.
The opposition has been protesting since former President Abdulla Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison on December 25, 2022. The founders of the Maldives Journal have also lodged a court case in the High Court of the Maldives to challenge the ban on protests in Male.
It remains to be seen what actions the government will take in response to the ongoing protests, but the President's statements and the continued arrests of protesters suggest a crackdown may be imminent.