First Lieutenant Hassan Zihan, the only naval architect in the Maldives National Defence Force, has been dismissed from service.
Zihan holds an undergraduate degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Naval Academy in the United States. He was also the only naval architect in the army's history to present.
The U.S. Naval Academy is one of the country's top universities. Zihan was dismissed from service for not supporting the current government. One of the reasons for the dismissal was a Facebook post calling for the release of Zihan's brother, one of those arrested by the police during President Ibrahim's visit to Fuvahmulah.
Zihan was sacked after the military court took cognizance of the cases and demoted him from the rank of first lieutenant to a lieutenant.
The decision to remove Zihan from duty was ultimately reached following proceedings in the military court, which not only resulted in his dismissal but also saw him demoted from the rank of First Lieutenant to Lieutenant. These developments have raised questions about the intersection of military service, freedom of expression, and political alignment within the MNDF.