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Amnesty expresses concern over Maldives’ crackdown on anti-India protestors

The decree came after the country’s National Security Council concluded that the ‘India Out’ campaign, led by former president Abdullah Yameen, posed a threat to national security, to Maldivians living in India, and Indians living in the archipelago

May 21, 2022
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Amnesty International has expressed concerns over the recent decree issued by the Maldivian government banning anti-Indian protests, and the subsequent crackdown by authorities on peaceful protestors and journalists. The decree, it says, restricts the right to protest under the pretext of containing threats to national security.

“We are deeply concerned by reports and visuals of the crackdown on peaceful protestors and journalists in the Maldives and a recent decree restricting the right to protest in the country in the pretext of containing threats to national security posed by the "India Out" campaign,” Amnesty International South Asia said in Tweet

“Excessive use of force against protestors must be condemned and promptly and impartially investigated,” it added. The rights watchdog further urged the authorities to ensure that any “restriction on the right to peaceful protest and freedom of speech is proportionate, necessary, and provided by law.”

In April, the archipelago’s President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih issued a decree banning the opposition-led “India Out” campaign, accusing it of inciting hatred against a specific country and terming it a threat to national security. [Read More]

The decree came after the country’s National Security Council concluded that the ‘India Out’ campaign, led by former president Abdullah Yameen, posed a threat to national security, to Maldivians living in India, and Indians living in the archipelago.

Yameen, who ruled the country between 2013 t0 2018, and his allies have been running the anti-India campaign, seeking an end to the alleged presence of the Indian military in the archipelago.
However, experts suggest through the campaign, Yameen seeks to regain lost political ground in the country. The campaign, apart from hindering long-standing ties with India, the government argued, put the Maldives at risk of loss of peace and stability, huge economic and social burden, and isolation in the international arena.

 (SAM)

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