Police confiscate MP Ali Hussain’s phone over tweet

Police confiscate MP Ali Hussain’s phone over tweet
July 25 15:45 2016

The police summoned Jumhooree Party MP Ali Hussain for questioning over a tweet this morning and confiscated his phone with a court warrant.

The MP said in a tweet last Friday that everyone has the right to defend themselves against the unfair use of force by police officers.

Speaking to the press outside the police headquarters, Ali Hussain said he was accused of obstructing police duty.

But saying that self-defence is a legal right does not amount to obstructing police duty, he said.

“I didn’t tell anyone to do or not do anything specific,” he said.

Ali Hussain said he asked for a lawyer when police confiscated his phone. The police are seeking to summon him again next week, he added.

A police spokesman confirmed that the MP was questioned today but declined to provide any further information.

However, a police source told The Maldives Independent that officers believe the MPs’ tweet encouraged violence against police officers.

The MP, who represents the Kendhoo constituency in Baa atoll, also suggested that the police are going to forward his case for prosecution in a bid to silence him.

Ali Hussain, also a prominent lawyer, is a vocal critic of President Abdulla Yameen as well as the judiciary.

He also noted that a defamation bill currently before parliament could be used to prosecute and penalise people over tweets or views expressed on social media.

The offending tweet was posted after police officers cracked down on a weekly prayer gathering by opposition supporters.