February 9th, 2012
01:53 AM ET

Maldives tense after day of street violence

A tense calm reigned Thursday morning in the streets of Male, the capital of the Maldives, a day after the country's former president and his supporters clashed with the police.

The unrest in the Indian Ocean nation, which has reportedly spread beyond Male to outlying islands, is the result of the ouster Tuesday of Mohamed Nasheed - the country's first democratically elected president in three decades - after opposition demonstrations and a police revolt.

Nasheed, who says he was forced to resign at gunpoint in a coup, has called for his successor - his former vice president, Mohammed Waheed Hassan - to leave office. His account is contested by political opponents who say Nasheed is destabilizing the country.

On Wednesday, Nasheed found himself back in the familiar role of street protester.

His party, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), said the former president and several lawmakers had been beaten by police during what it described as "a peaceful protest."

Video footage posted online by RaajeTV, a user-submitted video sharing site, showed a group of police officers entering a store and escorting Nasheed out into the street. It did not show him being beaten.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Clydster

    Wow nice people do they beat each other for sport? Or what? And then call it a peacefull protest

    February 9, 2012 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Clydster

    What a bunch of damm ignorance

    February 9, 2012 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. Airyfairy Bliss

    Firstly, can I please appeal to all these people commenting not to make this an issue of religion!? Seriously, does it matter that Maldives is an islamic country and that the wife of President Nasheed fled to Sri Lanka? Thousands of Maldivians are settled in Sri Lanka, and continue to lead very content and stable lives there because we are very close neighbors with strong cultural and commercial ties. Having said that, may I also plead the international community to focus on the REAL issue here?? a legitimately elected government, the FIRST democratic government of a country had been toppled by mutinous factions within the police and the defense force that had sided with the opposition! This had led to escalating conflict, extreme police brutality against protesters supporting the ousted government and the popular President Nasheed, and unbelievable shocking acts of aggression against Nasheed's party members and activists. There is widespread unrest and conflict, and the police are beating down without regard for women, children or the elderly, and this has been caught on video footage even by the international media!

    Here in Maldives, the majority is religiously moderate, and we have been a peaceloving, tranquil people who have welcomed tourists of all religious faiths with open arms and our well known warm hospitality. Today the Maldivians need your help. So instead of assessing the religious aspects and what not that have absolutely no weight in this matter, could you please bring to the world's attention any way you can about the dire situation of this small island state? We are striving to defend democracy and our way of life, and we need the support of the international community to condemn these atrocious acts against humanity. This was a coup, and the newly sworn in president (the former vice president) is a traitor, who is currently trying very hard to fool the international community. The law enforcement is battering and slaughtering unarmed civilians they had sworn to protect, and the media is controlled by the government who are not reporting anything of these events. Whats happening is wrong, and anyone who defends and supports democracy should acknowledge that it is democracy that is being killed here, and they should stand up for Maldives.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Thanks for the post.
      It was certainly informative.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |