Opposition files court case to nullify presidential decree outlawing “India Out” movement

Opposition leader Yameen Abdul Gayyoom (C) in Naifaru | Photo: Twitter/Maaniu

Malé, Maldives – The Opposition Coalition on Wednesday confirmed that they have filed a civil court case against the presidential decree declaring the “India Out” movement as unlawful.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Thursday gazetted a decree to stop the “India Out” campaign after the opposition lead campaign to remove the Indian military from the Maldives was deemed a threat to national security by the National Security Council.

The President’s decision has been criticized by some stating that it is against article 27 of the Maldives Constitution ensuring the freedom of expression.

The article reads that,

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and the freedom to communicate opinions and expression in a manner that is not contrary to any tenet of Islam.

The presidential decree however highlights that acts defined in the decree are considered a criminal offence under Article 124 (a)(3) and Article 615 (a)(6) of the Maldives Penal Code (Law No.: 9/2014).

With the decree relevant authorities were authorized to take immediate action to stop the “India Out” campaign including removing all “India Out” banners.