Protest in front of Parliament broken up

Photo: Navaanavai

Male’, Maldives – A protest organized by Navaanavai, held in front of the Parliament has been broken up by Police, before the Parliament meeting began.

The protest organized in the name of “Majilis Heylavva” which translates to “Wake the Parliament” demanded the stopping of evictions due to inability to pay rent, stopping environmental damage, providing sufficient funding towards protecting women and children as well as the expediting of disbursement of income support allowance.

Police removed the protestors from the area, which saw the use of physical wo-manhandling of a female protestor, who then moved near Hotel Jen area and continued protesting.

Social media has been torn on whether the protest was lawful, given the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, whereby in the Maldives, gathering of more than three people has been prohibited. While some point out that the handful of protestors were adhering to the social distancing measures as well as wore masks, hence allowing the legal right of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, others pointed out that this isn’t the time to be organizing protests.

The debate was joined in by several high profile persons of the Maldives including Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abdullah Fairoosh, who was not in agreement of the protests.

However, several Parliamentarians were pro-protest, such as MP Rozaina who cited that a protest regarding climate emergency was also held in the same location, where protestors were welcomed and addressed.


Despite the backlash, the protest is still on going.