Local NGO “Voice of Children” has released a statement calling abolish the draconian laws against freedom of assembly. In a statement release today, the NGO known for advocating for the rights and safety of children, strongly condemned the use of excessive force by the Maldives Police Service, against youths demonstrating against sexual harassment in this Maldives.
In their statement, the NGO stated that the peaceful demonstrators were surrounded, manhandled and pepper sprayed while handcuffed and described it as unwarranted and unnecessary. In the statement they further cited Article 32 of the Constitution of the Maldives which states that “ Everyone has the right to freedom of assembly without prior permission from the state.”.
Voice of Children questioned in their statement as to why the Police was extra-judicially confronting every protest with their special forces.
They further alleged that the current ruling party MDP and its supermajority led parliament was limiting the people’s right to assemble. They stated “The most fundamental right in any democratic society, but the MDP majority (parliament) is empowering police brutality and limiting the right to protest and the freedom of expression”.
They further called on to the government to abolish the draconian laws limiting the freedom of assembly and called on to the international community to support them in ensuring the fundamental rights of the society.