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Councillors suspended for condemning police brutality

Villingili island councillors condemned the alleged assault of a Raajje TV journalist. They have been suspended without pay for one month.



The five councillors of Villingili island, Gaaf Alif atoll, have been suspended for issuing a statement condemning alleged police brutality towards a journalist.

Raajje TV’s Hussain Hassan was arrested at an opposition protest in February and was later admitted to hospital for treatment. He was transferred to Sri Lanka for further care.

Villingili island council condemned the police action and denounced attacks on journalists.

The Local Government Authority on Tuesday wrote to the administrative head of the island council, Shazma Mohamed, informing her of the suspension.

The five councillors who signed the statement have been suspended for one month without pay and allowances, according to the letter.

It states they are suspended for violating the act on local governance by issuing the statement outside the authority given to island councils.

The statement was not based on a decision of a state authority and was issued without confirming the validity of the alleged actions, the letter read.

It warned that a repetition of a similar offence may result in the LGA board requesting the high court to dissolve the island council.

Dozens of councillors have been suspended in recent months with 25 suspended in March for calling on authorities to implement a Supreme Court order to release political prisoners.

In February, five councillors of Haa Alif Ihavandhoo were suspended for three months without pay as the opposition prepared to hold a rally on the island.