At least 41 people were arrested on Saturday, September 12, as police broke up an opposition-linked motorcycle rally in Male. The rally, which began in the Maafannu district before proceeding along Majeedhee Magu Road to the other side of the island on Saturday afternoon, had been promoted as a youth gathering, but numerous senior figures from the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) are reported to have joined the convoy as part of a protest against Indian investment in the country.
Although a previous rally on August 28 had been allowed to continue, police intervened to disperse demonstrators on Saturday citing a ban on public gatherings due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. As well as the 41 people arrested, dozens of other participants are reported to have been fined for violating the country's COVID-19 restrictions.
Further gatherings and political demonstrations are likely in Male in the medium term, with an associated risk of travel disruptions and police intervention.
Those in Male are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, and heed any directives issued by local authorities.
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