Authorities warned on Friday, March 9, that any incitement of protest would lead to detention. The warning accompanied an announcement that four individuals were recently arrested for their supposed role in planning protests amid the current state of emergency. According to authorities, investigations are ongoing and more arrests are possible. Political gatherings after 22:30 (local time) are banned.
Despite warnings, heightened political tensions are expected to continue in the Maldives in the near-term; related protests and demonstrations, and consequent transportation disruptions are possible, particularly in the capital city Malé.
Mounting sociopolitical tensions - spurred on by the government's arrests of multiple opposition figures - prompted Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen to declare a 15-day state of emergency on February 5 and to subsequently order the arrests of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, two Supreme Court judges, and the chief judicial administrator. The political opposition has accused Yameen of using the country's security forces to "cling onto power."
On Tuesday, February 21, the Maldives' parliament, citing threats to national security, voted to extend the current state of emergency by 30 days to Thursday, March 22.
Individuals in the Maldives, particularly in Malé, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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