Authorities detained more than 140 protesters in the capital city of Malé overnight from Friday, March 16, to Saturday, March 17. The opposition activists had defied the government’s ban on protests during the ongoing state of emergency. Security forces reportedly used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowds. Security forces will remain deployed in Malé and a number of other towns to prevent anti-government demonstrations until the state of emergency expires on Thursday, March 22.
President Abdulla Yameen initially declared a 15-day state of emergency on February 5, which was then prolonged by parliament for an additional 30 days upon Yameen's request. On March 14, the Maldivian government declared it would not extend the state of emergency - currently set to expire on March 22 - as security conditions in the island country have returned to normal.
Individuals present in the Maldives are advised to exercise caution and to avoid any protests or rallies.
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