Protest to free Yameen planned by opposition

Ibrahim Shujau, Vice President of People’s National Congress | Photo: PNC

Male’, Maldives – The opposition has decided to hold protests on the 28th of November, demanding the freedom of Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom who they say was wrongfully imprisoned on money laundering charges on the same day last year.

At a press conference held by the oppostion coaltion yesterday, the Vice President of People’s National Congress (PNC), Ibrahim Shujau said that if the governing coaltion’s main party The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) does not adhere to Health Protection Agency (HPA) guidelines, the opposition will not follow them either.

Shujau said they will not follow any HPA COVID safety measures and proceed to campaign for the upcoming Local Council Elections and hold multiple protests throughout the country.

PNC’s deputy leader said that the government has failed to protect Yameen’s rights, due to which they have decided to hold serialized protest starting next Saturday, named “Maldives against brutality.”

Member of Parliament for Naifaru constituency Ahmed Shiyaam said that the Supreme Court declaring that the freezing of Yameen’s accounts were unlawful, reveals that Yameen should not be in jail, and that instead of this, what was seen was that Prosecutor General’s Office employees preparing conviction after conviction “without even sleeping.”

President Yameen is currently serving a sentence of five years for money laundering by crediting one million dollars to be received by the state for the lease of Ga. Vodamula, via MMPRC. The verdict was passed on 28 November, 2019.

Yameen was accused of knowingly depositing MMPRC money to his personal account which he then used to gain personal profits. Witnesses summoned by the state said the former President “surely knows” the money that went into his account was the requisition fee of Vodamulla island, which was leased in his administration by MMPRC.